Avoiding a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) is straightforward: Don’t drink and drive. This simple choice allows you to enjoy a night out while ensuring your safety on the road. However, if you find yourself having a drink before you need to travel, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of a DUI stop.
Understanding your drinking limitations
Start by understanding your personal limits and the effects of alcohol or drugs. Various factors such as your weight, gender, metabolism, food intake and medication can influence how quickly you become intoxicated and how long it takes for the substances to leave your system. In the U.S., you are considered legally impaired if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08% or higher. However, depending on your physiology, impairment can start at much lower levels. Keep in mind that even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving abilities and create dangerous situations on the road.
Designating a sober driver
If you know you are someone who cannot handle their liquor, it is vital to plan ahead. Assigning a designated driver, utilizing a taxi or ridesharing service, or having a public transportation plan ready are all better options than driving while intoxicated. For example, if you are at a party, you should arrange for a place to stay or secure a safe ride home to avoid the potential of a DUI charge. Additionally, you cannot rely solely on your own judgment or your friends’ opinions to decide whether you’re fit to drive.
A dangerous gamble
In Mississippi, as in the rest of the U.S., driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense with severe potential consequences affecting your personal freedom, livelihood and finances. Choosing not to drink or use drugs and drive is not just about avoiding legal trouble – it’s a critical step in ensuring your safety and the safety of others on the road.