Along with shopping, decorating and baking, highlights of the holidays include seeing family and friends and celebrating together. While you enjoy the festivities of the season, however, remember to make responsible decisions if those festivities include alcohol. Getting behind the wheel after over-indulging at that ugly-sweater party will no doubt put your life and others in danger. Additionally, if you’re charged with a DUI, your holiday debt will skyrocket.
Have a plan to get home
If you’re going to drink alcoholic beverages while you’re out, know your plan to get home before you have your first drink. Keep these options in mind, which eliminate the need to drive.
- Pick a location accessible by public transportation; however, keep an eye on the time so you don’t miss the last bus, train or subway. Also, keep extra cash handy so you can cover any appropriate fares.
- Assign a designated driver if you need to head to a more remote location. Remember to thank your designated driver, and offer to return the favor for a future event.
- Take a cab or use a ridesharing service. If you choose to go the ridesharing route, download the mobile app ahead of time and check that it properly stored your credit card information to ensure you can pay the bill for your ride. Remember that “surge pricing” may be in effect for some rideshare apps, but the costs definitely outweigh the consequences.
A DUI will cost you
A DUI conviction can severely drain your finances. The fine is only a small component. After you factor in court costs, attorney fees, increases in insurance premiums and more, a DUI can cost thousands of dollars. Look at these examples of fees and penalties that can accompany a DUI:
- In Colorado, a defense attorney’s services can run approximately $2,500.
- California will charge $137 per day to store your impounded vehicle.
- Georgia offenders must pay $355 to take a mandatory alcohol/drug risk reduction course.
- If a judge orders you to install an ignition interlock system in Tennessee, costs can exceed $1,000.
Play it smart. Make spirits bright, but plan ahead and don’t drink and drive.
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By Mike Young