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3 things you can do to avoid a DUI this holiday season

The holidays are here, and that means there are parties and family gatherings with plenty of alcoholic beverages. You like to drink with your friends, and as a young adult, why wouldn't you? Having one before you hit the road won't necessarily leave you with a blood alcohol concentration high enough to result in a DUI, but exceeding your limits just might. Avoid getting a DUI this year with these helpful tips.

Know your limits, and stick to them

Every year, 37 percent of highway deaths are related to alcohol intoxication, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Avoid becoming a statistic or victimizing another person in a crash by knowing how much you can drink before you are legally drunk. To do this, you can carry a small, portable breathalyze, or use an estimated BAC chart to calculate how much you can drink based on your body weight and the amount of time you have before you drive. Here's an example: If you weigh 180 pounds and have two drinks in an hour, your approximate BAC would be .04 percent. You can estimate the amount of time it takes to sober up small increments. Every 40 minutes, reduce that amount by .01 percent until you are legally safe to drive.

Avoid drinking at all

There are many holiday alternatives to alcoholic beverages. For example, sparking grape juice looks like wine without the alcohol, and eggnog comes in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms. Choose a non-alcoholic beverage if you have concerns about your ability to get sober before you drive.

Call a cab or get a ride

Finally, if you have had too much, it's time to call the designated driver. Whether that's a taxi or a friend dropping you off that night, the inconvenience it might present is better than the risk of a DUI or an accident.

These are just a few tips to keep out of trouble with the law this year. If you do get stopped and have a BAC that's too high, there are still legal op tions open to you to defend yourself.

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Suffolk County Defenders Association New York State Defenders Association | Founded 1967 New York State Bar Association Suffolk County Bar Association | NY 1908

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