Each year around the holiday season, traffic on the roadways increases significantly. It is estimated that 30 percent of all Americans travel during holiday celebrations. As you can imagine, with a surge in travel also comes a rise in DUI-related traffic incidents. In 2013 alone, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-related vehicular accidents, accounting for nearly one-third (31 percent) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. For those affected, the holidays are not always so merry and bright.
With the climbing amount of traffic fatalities in the Bay area this year, local law enforcement is out to ensure that everyone makes it to their holiday destination safely. In addition to patrol units, we can anticipate sobriety checkpoints. Through their new campaign, “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving,” the San Jose Police Department reminds drivers to be cautious of the amount they drink before you drive, even if it is just one beer. There are a few methods to ensure that you can have a memorable celebration without getting a DUI:
- Abstain From Drinking: Not only will you not risk a DUI, but you may also even be able to provide transportation to a friend, family member, or acquaintance if they are in need of assistance.
- Get a Designated Driver (DD):It is best to agree upon this before you make your plans, so this person is aware that they are responsible for your safety. They are not supposed to drink alcohol that night (or take any medications that may impair driving abilities). If you see them not fulfilling their duty and partake anyway, find another DD. There also are many public service sober ride options available online.
- Take Public Transportation: There are dozens of cab companies that will gladly take you home (for a fee). The bus system is another option if one is running within walking distance of your location.
- AAA Tipsy Tow: This is a free service offered during the holidays by AAA (whether you are a member or not). It gets your vehicle, and you, home within a five-mile radius. Their number is 1-888-AAA-HELP (222-4357).
- Stay the Night: Most hosts care about their guests’ safety. If you have had too much and there is not a better option, stay the night where you are.
If all else fails, and you do end up drinking, driving, and are pulled over by police, there is hope. Make sure that you have a trusted, knowledgeable attorney to call to assist you in everything that happens after the DUI. Having processed cases in excess of 3,000, Attorney Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich can be that life-altering phone call. To schedule a free consultation with our San Jose DUI defense lawyer, call (408) 898-9653.