September 19, 2023
The holidays are a time when there are plenty of parties, tons of traveling, and abundant alcohol. This can be a great time, or it can be a recipe for disaster.
It’s all too easy to get a DUI during the month when everyone is serving spiked eggnog and there’s a gathering almost every night.
It’s also easy to be safe and smart during the holidays. Avoiding a DUI is as simple as not driving while you’re intoxicated. These three strategies will help keep you, your criminal record, and everyone else on the road safe and sound this holiday season.
Strategy 1: Assign a Designated Driver Before You Go
Colorado is one of the toughest states for DUI charges, so you’re better safe than sorry. If you know when you’re going out for the night that you plan on drinking, then play it smart.
Alternate Your Group’s DD throughout the Holiday Weekend
Find a friend or family member who will be with you and ask them to be the designated driver for the night. You can even alternate the DD each night, so no one feels left out of the party.
Save Money by Paying Your DD in Their Favorite Snacks
The designated driver system is also great because it’s cheap! All it costs is whatever snacks you feel your DD deserves for helping you out.
Save More by Volunteering as DD Yourself
On the other hand, you can even save some money for presents by volunteering to be the DD when you and your friends go out.
The designated driver strategy is always a win-win all around. Some bars even give DDs free non-alcoholic drinks for helping keep their community safe.
Strategy 2: Rideshare Home After the Festivities
If drinking wasn’t in the plan when you left for your holiday festivities, that’s fine. You have plenty of other options for getting home safely without getting a DUI.
Ridesharing is Easy in Colorado
Even if you don’t live somewhere with a lot of taxis, you can get a ride through a rideshare app. There are tons of them — Lyft and Uber are just two of the biggest names. No matter where you are, there’s probably a car nearby that can get you home safely and DUI-free.
Calling a Rideshare Service Makes Good Financial Sense
DUI fines run between $600 and $1000 for a first-time offender in Colorado and increase on a second offense. On the other hand, the average Lyft ride to travel all the way across Denver is $20-$40, depending on the time of day and whether you are splitting the fare with friends.
Even if all you’re worried about is saving money, getting a ride through a rideshare app is about 30 times cheaper than getting a DUI charge.
Strategy 3: Monitor Your Drinking via BAC Apps
Just because you think you’re safe to drive doesn’t mean that you actually are. One of the primary effects of alcohol is impaired judgment.
The more you drink, the less able you are to judge your own abilities. Even worse, if you’re around other people, they can confirm your idea that you’re “fine” by being obviously drunker than you are.
That’s why a better strategy is considering one of the tons of apps available to help you objectively judge where your BAC is.
Using SmartPhone Apps to Estimate Your BAC
These apps work by putting your height, gender, weight, your self-reported drinks, and the time you drank them into a formula to find your estimated BAC.
The App Store has Drunkalyzer, for example. This app lets you track each drink as you drink them, and provides you will an estimated real-time BAC chart. AlcoTrack does the same thing for Android phones. Neither app is 100% accurate, because they rely on self-reporting.
Apps like this are a helpful objective measure of approximately how intoxicated you are. They are guidelines for the amount an average person of a certain build can drink safely and when it will finally be truly safe to drive.
Personal Breathalyzers via SmartPhones
If you want something that uses harder evidence than self-reported drinks, or if you just want to take a BAC test, you can do that with your phone too!
BACtrack is an app and breathalyzer that will tell you your real-time BAC, and you can make your decision from there. Just remember that your BAC can go up rapidly if you drink a lot or if you haven’t eaten much.
Always wait at least half an hour after your last drink before using the BACtracker to ensure you get an accurate reading, as well.
Getting a DUI is stressful and carries serious penalties, including jail time. However, DUIs are also one of the easiest charges to avoid. Simply don’t drink and drive.
There are plenty of ways to do just that. So be smart this holiday season and let someone else do the driving when you’re impaired. And remember to thank them!
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.