Social drinking tends to increase during all holidays — and Thanksgiving is no exception. Unfortunately, social drinkers (unlike regular drinkers) are at a disadvantage when it comes to knowing their limits. Not every social drinker who gets intoxicated sets out to end up that way, which is why not everyone has a designated driver ready to take them home.
Just the same, if you find yourself out celebrating and you realize that you’ve had one drink too many to drive, it helps to have a few plans in mind.
Here’s what you need to remember:
1. Don’t drive if you’re intoxicated.
This includes just feeling slightly “buzzed,” as opposed to outright drunk. If you even suspect that your blood alcohol content (BAC) could be over the legal limit, put your car keys back in your pocket. You really don’t want to experience a drunk driving charge — or an accident.
2. Call a ride-sharing service.
Put the Uber or Lyft app on your phone before you head out to celebrate. That way, you’ll be ready to use it if you need a ride home.
Alternately, you can ask the bartender to call a local cab for you or hit up a friend for a ride home — as long as your friend is sober.
3. Don’t try to sleep in your car.
Tempted to just sleep off the alcohol in your car for a while? Don’t. Merely being in control of the vehicle — which includes sitting in with the keys in your possession — is enough to get you charged with drunk driving.
4. If you do drive, exercise caution.
The police are generally watching the roads pretty closely during the holiday because they’re aware that people are celebrating. Any traffic violation you make can be an excuse to pull you over and eventually lead to a drunk driving charge.
Obey the speed limit, follow the traffic laws and remember that you shouldn’t give up any information about where you’ve been or what you’ve been drinking to an officer if you are stopped. More often than not, saying something like, “I only had one beer,” is all an officer needs to hear to pull out a Breathalyzer.
If you do find yourself facing drunk driving charges, an attorney can protect your rights and make sure that you’re given fair treatment.