A lot of people look forward to summer, whether they plan to go on vacation to the beach or indulge in a “staycation” at home with friends.
Vacations, barbecues, tailgate parties, concerts and other summer fun often involve alcohol consumption. There’s nothing wrong with having a drink or two. Unfortunately, otherwise responsible people sometimes get in situations where they make mistakes and end up behind the wheel after drinking.
Police heavily patrol the roads in the summer for suspected drunk drivers. That’s because incidents of drunk driving skyrocket during the warm weather. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that there are almost twice the number of victims of alcohol-related car accidents during summer than all other months combined!
To avoid unpleasant complications with the law this summer, use these tips if you plan on drinking while you aren’t at home:
1. Eat something.
Food helps keep alcohol from going straight to your head. The increased sensation of fullness in your stomach can also help you keep your alcohol consumption down to a reasonable level.
2. Set an alarm.
If you know you plan on leaving at 11 p.m., set the alarm on your phone for 9 p.m. and put down your drink when it goes off. Switch to something non-alcoholic, like soda or coffee. That way, your body has time to metabolize the alcohol in your system well before you head out.
3. Be honest with yourself.
If you aren’t absolutely certain that you’re sober, put your keys in your pocket and ask a friend to drive you home instead. It’s cheaper to take an Uber ride back to pick up your car in the morning than it is to fight a drunk driving charge.
4. If you are pulled over, stay silent.
Even if you’re sure you’re sober, that’s no guarantee that you won’t get pulled over by an eager beaver who is looking for drunk drivers. If this happens, remember that your right to remain silent is very important. Don’t lie, but don’t feel the need to tell the officer where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing. If you admit to being somewhere alcohol was served, that could be all the justification an officer needs to subject you to chemical testing.
As always, the best thing to do is play it safe and use a designated driver.