The 4th of July is coming up, and for most Americans, the day will be spent having good old-fashioned summer fun. Traditions surrounding this patriotic holiday celebrating American independence include barbecues, fireworks, parades, family get-togethers, and maybe even a fun run or camping trip. Here in Ocean City, MD and Delmarva, it often looks like a day at the beach.
However, this warm-weather holiday is also one of the deadliest days of the year for drunk-driving accidents. Special-occasion partying often doubles or even triples local rates of DUI incidents when compared to the weekends before or after. Make sure you understand how to avoid DUI charges if you’re planning on drinking this Independence Day.
Understand the Meaning of Driving Under the Influence
There’s a common misconception that someone can be “sober enough” to drive. However, driving can still be significantly impaired even for an individual who is under the legal limit for alcohol. A blood alcohol content of only .02 percent has been proven to negatively affect an individual’s ability to multitask (necessary for safe driving).
DUIs don’t just apply to alcohol, either. Any mind-altering substance could fall under that umbrella, including illegal drugs as well as some prescription or over-the-counter medications.
If You’re Going to Drink, Find a Safe Way Home Ahead of Time
As long as it’s safe and legal to do so, go ahead and drink some alcohol at your 4th of July celebrations if you’d like—just make sure to have an end-of-night plan set beforehand. Often this looks like a designated driver (who has nothing to drink, not just less than you!) or even sleeping it off where you are. Ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft are also good options for safely making it home despite having imbibed. Hiring a car might seem expenive, but remember: it’s much cheaper than paying tickets, fines, victim compensation, and/or legal fees in the event of a DUI.
Look Out for Others
If you’re hosting a gathering, make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available for designated drivers in your group. If you have a friend who’s going to drive drunk, take their keys away from them and help them make other arrangements. Do not let them drive away. In some states, you may even be held liable if your friend then gets into an alcohol-related accident. If you see a suspected drunk driver on the road, pull over and call 911.
The Law Office of C. Gregory Coburn wishes you a safe and enjoyable Independence Day weekend. If you or someone close to you has been charged with a DUI in Delmarva, contact our DUI attorney for a free consultation. Learn how our 30+ years of criminal defense experience can help reduce charges against you.