People love the holidays – and what is there not to love? It’s a time of year where cheer and joy are in abundance, and you get together with friends and family that you may not get to see the rest of the year. Many of these festive get-togethers involve alcohol, which is why there’s often an increase in arrests for driving under the influence that seem to coincide with the season.
Most people realize that there are several legal ramifications if you get arrested and charged with a DUI in Minnesota. It’s important to understand what these consequences are, but it’s equally important to understand the steps you can take to both have fun this holiday season and avoid getting a DUI in the first place.
Here are a few holiday safety tips to help you enjoy the season more responsibly, plus what could be in store if you don’t follow the law.
What Is a DUI?
In Minnesota, you can be charged with a DUI or a DWI. A DUI is usually defined as driving under the influence, meaning that the driver of the vehicle was impaired by alcohol with a specific alcohol content level being connected to it.
A DWI, driving while intoxicated, occurs when someone operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content above the Minnesota legal limit of 0.08 percent or higher.
Tips to Avoid a DUI This Season
There are some precautions you can take that allow you to celebrate with friends and family but still stay safe out on the roads – and avoid a potential DUI. You can do one of the following:
Refrain from Drinking
It’s impossible to be arrested for driving under the influence if you’re under the influence of nothing! It might be a good idea to try making yourself the designated driver for an event.
This is something you and a group of friends or family could agree to do on a rotating basis, to give everyone a chance to imbibe.
Have a Designated Driver
If you’re going to an event with others, then get a ride with a friend whom you know will not be drinking. You may need to arrange this ahead of time. It’s vital to choose someone who will stick to their word – not cave in and drink once they get to the party.
Use a Rideshare
If you can’t find someone to be a designated driver, then it’s always an option to take rideshare to the destination, such as Uber or Lyft. You can schedule a ride home, too. Just remember that these apps do have surge pricing, so if you’re looking for a ride home at the same time as many other partyers, you’ll pay for it!
If the party is at a friend’s house or at a place within walking distance from a hotel, then consider simply staying there for the night.
Host the Party
If you really want to be free of the need to transport yourself someplace after the holiday party, host it at your own house! That way you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home at all to celebrate the season with friends and family.
Consequences of a DUI
In Minnesota, the more guilty DUIs you accrue, the steeper the consequences. For a first offense, you could spend three months in jail but for a third offense, you can spend up to one year in jail and be subject to remote electronic alcohol monitoring.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.