This Holiday Don’t Drink and Drive

This holiday season most of us are invited to parties or to celebrate at a local bar because we have much about which to be happy.

Peers encourage us to relax, have a drink, and let our hair down.

We feel that we deserve the opportunity to celebrate and I agree.

However, if we do not make the decision not to drive before we begin drinking, we may have a harrowing experience.

You most certainly don’t think of causing injury to others after having one or two drinks. The problem is that when you drink there are factors whose significance you may underestimate.

Here are a few:

Alcohol has different levels of potency. The bartender may make the drink stronger than you are used to drinking. It may seem “weak” so you make the judgment that you can have two drinks because they are less potent. As you are celebrating, a friend says “Let’s have a shooter or a celebrity drink” and you express concern about getting drunk but pressure is brought against you to do what everyone else is doing and you let your guard down and have the additional drink. By now your judgment is starting to be affected and, as a consequence, you don’t even remember how much you have had to drink and you are starting to feel a buzz.

When you enter your automobile you have no trouble opening the door and placing the key in the ignition or placing your foot on the brake and pushing in the ignition switch and starting the car.

As you drive everything seems fine and you feel there is nothing to worry about.

You are unaware that it’s taking longer to get home and that the alcohol is starting to arc. This means that when you started your car, you were able to get going and drive safely but now you are beginning to be affected by the alcohol. It is incremental and before you know it, you are weaving, or worse, you hit another car with occupants in it, or you hit a parked car and you become injured.

The police arrive and the next thing you know the officer is asking you for your license and registration and asking you if you had been drinking and if so, how much, and when did you have your last drink.

When projecting the possibilities, the worst example is injury to yourself or others. However, for the purposes of this article, I don’t want to provide examples because of the uncertainty of projecting to the future.

But I can provide you with some clear examples of what you are up against:

If you drive for a living or need a car to get to work, you could lose your driving privilege. Your employer may not want to keep you employed because auto liability insurance increases if paid by your employer or the general liability insurance goes up if the employees have bad driving records and represent greater risks to the employer.

Then there is the cost for a lawyer and investigators and the costs of discovery such as obtaining the dispatch tape of the arresting officer’s communication as to why you were stopped, police reports, driving records; the humiliation of being arrested and the cloud hanging over your head because of the uncertainty of the outcome; obtaining an alcohol evaluation and obtaining the recommended alcohol and expensive medical treatment; fines and penalties; and the time it takes to meet with your lawyer, attend hearings and or trial and the possibility of an appeal by you or the prosecutor.

If I said to you that the range of costs outlined in the above paragraph could be between $2500 to $8000, would that surprise you?

Probably that would surprise you and money and humiliation may be just what may motivate you to not drink and drive and, instead, to pay for a cab for the ride home or stay overnight at a nearby hotel and either walk or take a cab to get there.

One needs to decide before drinking that you won’t drink and drive. Deciding in advance not to drink and drive may be the safest way of avoiding a very awful experience.

Should you drink and drive and be charged with a DUI or DWI, having an experienced advocate working for you can often lead to better results.

I have over thirty years’ experience defending drunken driving cases in Howard County and surrounding counties in Central Maryland. I can help you get through the system. Waiting, representing yourself, or making other non-efforts may make your circumstance worse. While the facts are fresh is the best time to meet with me and develop a strategy to seek the best result.

There are specific guidelines and time limitations that when not met can result in great harm to you.

Call me and let’s meet to start defending you. Call me at 410 730 4404 to get together.