Finalizing your plans for Memorial Day Weekend 2017? In California, this
usually means a trip to the beach, a picnic under the sun, a day spent
at a theme park, or a jaunt up or downstate to visit friends and family.
For law enforcement departments and officials around the country, though,
Memorial Day Weekend is prime time to catch intoxicated drivers in the
act. The rate of driving under the influence (DUI) arrests spikes this weekend every year. But it doesn’t have to.
Here’s a few smart ways to avoid drinking and driving, and therefore
avoid a DUI:
Designated driver: The tried and true method of avoiding a DUI arrest is assigning a designated
driver (DD) for the night. Whoever is that person in your group must
not drink a drop of alcohol that night. Big mistakes happen when the DD has
“just one drink” but ends up just as tipsy as everyone else.
Never attempt to drive a vehicle when intoxicated, and do not let a friend
drink and drive.
Key collection: If you are going to a Memorial Day Weekend party, then consider asking
the host if he or she will collect the keys of anyone who drove there.
A sober individual will be in charge of the keys – some parties
call this person the Warden – and will only hand them back to people
if they are also sober.
Ridesharing: Did you know that nearly every modern day smartphone has a ridesharing
app preinstalled on it? It’s true. Unless you intentionally deleted
it, you most likely have Uber on your cellphone. If you don’t, it
is recommended you download it, Lyft, or another similar app now. Ridesharing
makes it easy to get taxi service when and where you need it, ensuring
you can get home without needing to drive drunk.
Room and board: Can you stay at your host’s home if you get too drunk to drive safely?
It is worth asking before the event begins so you know all of your options.
Some people like to get a hotel room nearby to spend Friday or Saturday
night on Memorial Day Weekend and drive back home the following morning,
even if they do not live too far from the event.
One hour, one drink: Sometimes oversights happen and you will have too many drinks at a party
or get-together. Without realizing it, you are feeling too drunk to drive
but absolutely cannot spend the night at the current location. Remember
that the average person metabolizes one average alcoholic drink –
a can of beer or a shot of hard liquor – in one hour to 90 minutes.
If you had three drinks that night, wait at least three hours before seeing
if you feel sober enough to drive. Get plenty of water into your system,
too, as alcohol will dehydrate you, which can worsen the effects of intoxication.
This should be your last resort, not a first choice.
Memorial Day Checkpoints & Police Prejudice
Highway patrol agencies will set up sobriety stops or checkpoints around
major intersections and highway off ramps. Anyone going through these
checkpoints could be subjected to
field sobriety testing or an arrest. In Santa Rosa, where the o Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig,
P.C. is located, the 101 freeway and the 12 highway are hot spots for
sobriety stops. You can also expect increased police traffic Memorial
Day Weekend around Santa Rosa Junior College.
The problem with sobriety checkpoints is that people sober enough to drive,
or entirely sober, can and do get arrested for a DUI. Checkpoints create
the expectation in police that just about everyone going through there
is a drunk driver. This assumption can lead to an unjustified increase
in DUI arrests, especially when considering that a driver does not need
to be over 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to be arrested
and convicted of a DUI. If a driver’s BAC is above 0.00% and the
police officer believes he or she is a danger on the road, a DUI arrest
could be warranted.
If you get stopped and arrested for a DUI in Santa Rosa or Sonoma County
this Memorial Day Weekend, let the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C.
help defend your rights and driving privilege. Your arrest might be the
result of police prejudice, or the demand to fill an arrest quota. Our
law firm can critically analyze the situation and build your defense,
backed by our years of DUI defense experience and winning record.
Call 707.418.5352 to request a
free initial consultation.