2020 has been a crazy year, and it is pretty much safe to say that everyone is ready to say hello to 2021. You do not want to start your new year facing DUI charges, so here are some tips from our team of attorneys at Whittel & Melton to keep you safe and away from a jail cell.
- Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving
Remember that the legal blood alcohol level in Florida and the rest of the U.S. is 0.08%. If you are at or over this limit then you can be charged with driving under the influence. If you are driving while under the influence of illegal drugs or even over the counter or prescription meds that can impair your faculties, you can also be charged with DUI.
- Be Aware of Your Limits
New Year’s Eve is a party holiday, and if you choose to drink, we encourage you to know your limits. Making bad decisions can lead to a trip to the hospital for alcohol poisoning and increase aggressive, risk-taking behaviors, so it is very important to drink responsibly or just refrain altogether if you know you are prone to making poor decisions when drinking.
- Make Arrangements for Transportation Ahead of Time
The New Year’s Eve holiday weekend has a large number of alcohol-related deaths since more drunk drivers are on the roadways. The National Safety Council (NSC) has estimated that up to 384 deaths may be caused this holiday weekend. One way that you can keep yourself and others safe this New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day holiday is to secure alternate transportation if you elect to drink. There are many options around Tampa Bay, such as Uber and Lyft, limos and taxis, streetcars and trolleys, the Downtowner, and public transportation. If you know a friend that is staying sober, then arrange for them to be the designated driver who gets everyone home safe.
Many people this year may elect to have a small gathering at their home, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are attending a get together at a friend or family member’s house, and drink more than you planned, then make a plan to spend the night on the couch or in a guest bedroom. You can even call a sober friend or family member to come and pick you up, if that is an option. Most party hosts would rather have intoxicated guests stay the night than attempt to drive home. We can agree that it is best to start 2021 passed out ata friend’s house than in a jail cell.
- Unsure If You Can Safely Drive Home? Wait It Out
If you think you might be too impaired to drive, then just wait it out. As we mentioned before, even being buzzed can lead to DUI charges, so play it safe. Police will be out in full force New Year’s Eve looking for drunk drivers, so do not try and talk yourself into driving when you are not sure you are sober. If you have to think about it, then you are probably not good to drive. Police will be looking for drivers who seem to be impaired and there will be DUI checkpoints monitoring for driver’s with watery or bloodshot eyes, smell of alcohol, slurred speech or swaying, and of course, field sobriety tests. You can refuse these tests if you are asked to perform one, and you have the right to also refuse a blood, breath, or urine test, however refusing will result in a suspension of your driver’s license for one year. If you refuse these tests, then you will need the help of our Tampa DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton to challenge the suspension.
The best way to avoid an unpleasant situation is to just wait it out. If you feel drunk or drowsy at all, then you have no business getting behind the wheel of a car.
Facing New Year’s Eve DUI Charges in Tampa?
If you do find yourself facing DUI charges this New Year’s Eve holiday weekend, we are here for you 24/7. You can call us at 866-608-5529 or contact us online anytime for immediate legal assistance. Your initial consultation with us is always free and 100% confidential.