Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can have severe consequences. While most people understand the risks of driving while intoxicated, many may not be aware that being in a stopped vehicle can still lead to a DUI.
To help you navigate this situation safely, there are some essential tips to keep in mind so that you stay on the right side of the law.
Plan ahead for a sober ride home
The most effective way to avoid a DUI in a stopped vehicle is to plan your transportation in advance. If you know you will be consuming alcohol, arrange for a designated driver, use public transportation or utilize rideshare services. Having a predetermined plan eliminates the temptation to get behind the wheel.
Remove the keys
To further reduce the risk of a DUI, turn off the ignition and remove the keys from the vehicle entirely. If you need to go to your vehicle while enjoying drinks during a night out, leave your keys with a trusted friend if possible. This simple action sends a clear message that you have no intention of driving.
Stay outside the vehicle
If you need to wait for a sober friend or arrange alternative transportation, stay outside the vehicle. Avoid waiting in your car, if it is safe to do so. Being inside your vehicle, even if you are in the backseat, could convey to law enforcement officials that you are capable and willing to drive while drunk.
There were 3,241 drunk-driving fatalities in Georgia over a ten-year period from 2009-2018. That is why Georgia law is so strict when it comes to DUI charges and why officers will be proactive about arresting inebriated individuals, even if they are not in a moving vehicle.