It’s the time of year you’ve been eagerly awaiting. You’re just about done with your first semester of college in Massachusetts, winter break is almost here and you’re ready to return home to celebrate the holidays with your family and friends.
With a little extra free time suddenly upon you, you may decide to go out on the town with your buddies before heading home on your school break. If you plan to share a few ice-cold beers or other alcoholic beverages, you may be placing yourself at risk for an OUI if you drive a car after drinking.
Ways to avoid drunk driving
Thinking ahead and being prepared may help you avoid OUI trouble. Note the following:
- Abstinence may be a good choice: If you do not consume alcohol, driving after a party will likely not pose a problem as far as OUI is concerned.
- Ask another person to drive you: If you really want to have a couple of drinks with your buddies, you can always designate a driver who agrees to abstain from alcohol.
- Drink and eat together: A good rule of thumb to avoid issues of intoxication is to only consume one alcoholic drink per hour and to drink it while eating food. (Food slows alcohol’s entry into your bloodstream.)
These few tips may come in handy as you ring in the holiday season with your college pals. You can research the topic further for more good ideas.
Driving with alcohol in your bloodstream is not necessarily illegal
Each state has laws regarding how much alcohol can be in your bloodstream while operating a motor vehicle. If you are going to have a drink or two, it is helpful to remember the following:
- Just because you’ve consumed alcohol then drove a car does not necessarily mean you broke the law.
- Being aware of your own body’s limits with regard to alcohol’s effects may help you avoid problems on the road.
- If you are pulled over in a traffic stop and a police officer asks you to exit your vehicle, anything you do or say from that point on can later be used to incriminate you in court.
- Not every OUI charge leads to conviction. You can fight the charges against you with the help of an experienced criminal lawyer.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year, there’s usually an increase of OUI arrests. If it happens to you, try to remember the above list, stay calm and choose your actions carefully.
What to do if charges are filed against you
Having to call home and tell your family you’ve been arrested and charged with an OUI crime would obviously be a real downer during your holidays. There are several things you can do to help minimize the potential negative effects such circumstances may have on your future:
- Protect your rights: An experienced defense attorney can analyze the process leading up to and following your arrest to determine If there has been a violation of your personal rights.
- Challenge faulty evidence: If a police officer has failed to adhere to proper protocol during any search or seizure that took place, during your arrest, or during your booking process, your attorney can request that the court rule evidence proffered by the prosecution inadmissible due to the compromising of your personal rights.
- Build a strong defense: Acting alongside experienced and aggressive defense representation may significantly increase your odds of avoiding conviction and staying out of jail.
Knowing your rights and understanding OUI laws ahead of time may help you prevent trouble later. By making informed decisions and knowing how to address a problem if one arises, this just may be your best holiday season yet!