Day Drinking And Driving: Tips To Avoid A DUI
You’re on vacation so you’ve been out enjoying a few casual drinks with friends during the day. You didn’t mean to drink very much, but now you’re worried about what might happen if you get pulled over. The best idea is always to play it safe and don’t drive at all if you think you might have too much alcohol in your system. If you don’t have any choice and you need to get behind the wheel, here are a few tips to think about before and after drinking to help you dodge a DUI.
Don’t Go Without Eating
Whenever you go out for a drink, especially during the day or if you know you’ll be driving after, make sure you’re eating. If you haven’t eaten at all recently, then order some food while you’re out and put some food in your stomach while spreading out the alcohol a little more. Food slows down the alcohol absorption in your body and will keep you more sober for longer.
While driving, and even if you get pulled over, you need to focus on staying calm. Respond promptly to questions from the police officer, and have your license and registration ready at hand when they ask for them. Fumbling or getting agitated are all signs of drunkenness an officer looks for at a traffic stop. You might get pulled over for a broken tail light or something else unrelated to your drinking or any impaired driving, but you may get a DUI anyway if they see any reason to suspect you’ve been drinking.
Follow All Traffic Laws
Avoid all distractions and focus on driving if you’re worried about how much you had to drink. You want to be on your best behavior on the road and avoid attracting any attention. Don’t go beyond the speed limit. Use your turn signals, and stop at every stop sign. Even a small amount of alcohol in your system will slow down your reaction time, so you should focus on the road both for the sake of safety and for avoiding a potential DUI.
Know Your Limits
Before you head out, take stock of yourself. Are you sure you’re good to drive? Take stock of yourself and check if you’re sober enough to drive. If not, consider using a designated driver or a rideshare service and come back for your car once you’re sober. It’s better to be safe than get a ticket - or worse.
Take Care of Your Car
If you’re going out for a drink and you think you might be driving around with a few drinks in you, make sure your car is in good shape first. You’re asking to be pulled over if one of your lights is out or your tags are expired, and what might’ve been a smooth and routine stop can become something else entirely if they find out you’ve been drinking. Not taking care of your car adds unnecessary risk to an already stressful situation.
Find Another Way Home or Wait
If you’re doubting whether you’re sober enough to drive or if you think you’re risking a DUI, the only real safe choice is not to drive at all. If you don’t have a designated driver, consider getting a ride home or waiting at the bar and eating until you’re sober. There’s no shame in leaving a note on your car and taking a taxi, Uber, or Lyft home. You can get a ride back later when you’re feeling up to driving.
Getting behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking can mean risking your freedom, your life, and the lives of others around you. Be sure to think twice about the risks and consequences before you decide to drive home.