The holiday season often sees an increase in “buzzed” and drunk driving resulting from the number of holiday parties and family gatherings. With Hanukkah just over a week away and Christmas less than 3 weeks away, don’t be surprised if you see a DUI checkpoint on your way home from work or an evening out.
While many may think it is okay to drive after “just one drink,” studies have shown that there is no blood-alcohol content so low that it’s safe to drive. Even a 0.01 blood alcohol level, which is well below the legal limit of 0.08, has caused serious injuries and death to drivers, innocent pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists at risk. Safety requires planning ahead and acting responsibly. If plans include a party where alcohol is being served:
•Choose someone in your group to be the designated driver. This person should not consume any alcohol.
•Bring money for a cab or other form of transportation. The extra money will be well spent in order to keep you and others safe.
•Follow the one drink-one hour-with food rule. Keeping in mind the body’s need to metabolize alcohol and the fact that food will slow alcohol’s entry into the bloodstream. Even then, it is important to have a non-drinking designated driver.
•Spend the night where the activity or party is held.
When driving or riding in a car, always buckle-up. It is your best defense against an impaired driver. Be extra cautious and if you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. It could save lives. If you were involved in a car accident with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol, contact an attorney to discuss your rights. You may be able to recover financial compensation for injuries and damage to your vehicle. If a loved one was killed by a drunk driver, you may wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In these cases, a victim’s family can seek financial compensation relating to the loss of their loved one.
There is no positive spin to be put on drinking and driving. Don’t let the temptation to drink and drive spoil your holidays.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.