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Dangers of Drinking and Driving After a Holiday Party

Dec 31 2015, by Sean Hessler in Alcohol, Criminal Defense, Legal Blog, OWI, Traffic Violations

Getting an OWI causes serious legal and personal consequences. And in some cases, drunk driving even results in injuries or loss of life. Despite these risks, many of us will end up drinking and driving over the holidays. The police anticipate this behavior and will increase patrols and OWI screenings to limit the damage.

It’s not always easy to make the right choices when you’re enjoying yourself at a party with friends and family. For this reason, it’s best to plan your evening ahead of time to avoid the risk that you—or the people you’re with—will get behind the wheel after drinking.

Plan Your Transportation Before You Start Drinking

Before you head to a party, think about how you will get home or get to the next bar. It’s hard to predict how an evening will evolve. Sometimes, an innocent-sounding dinner with family or colleagues ends up with everyone leaving the table tipsy. This means that you should always have a backup plan for getting home if you end up drinking.

Instead of driving after drinking, you can ride with a sober friend, call a taxi, or use a service where a driver will meet you and drive your car for you. One of the most effective ways of avoiding the dilemma of drinking or driving is to nominate a designated driver among your friends, but over the holidays, it may be hard to find someone who may want to pass on drinking. If this is the case, you and your friends can pool money to pay for a cab or Uber ride.

If you’re hosting an event where alcohol is being served, don’t serve alcohol to people who will be driving afterwards. Make sure to serve many non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, and consider having a cut-off time for serving alcohol. If you know your friends tend to make poor decisions when they drink, you can collect everyone’s car keys at the beginning of the party, and then return the keys only to the sober drivers. If all else fails, offer your drunk guests a place to sleep instead of letting them drive home.

The Winter Holidays Are One of the Most Dangerous Periods for Driving

Every year, we can expect around 100 fatalities on Indiana roads in December and January. While most fatal accidents tend to happen in the summer, January and December have the highest crash rates of any given year. This is probably due to a combination of bad weather and road conditions, and an increase in drunk driving. The higher fatal accident rate in summer may be due to the increased number of motorcyclists on the roads, which is why it is so important to focus on driving and avoid distractions such as texting.

The statistics show that most fatal crashes occur between 6 p.m. and midnight. But crashes that occur after midnight are much more likely to result in a fatality. For this reason, it’s best to stay off the roads at night during holiday season whether you are sober or not. You may be a safe driver, but there may other drivers out there who are drunk.

We at Hessler Law wish you all safe and happy holidays. If you’re facing OWI charges, we can help. You can call an Indianapolis DUI lawyer day or night at (317) 886-8800 for a free and confidential initial consultation of your case.

The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.