Independence Day celebrations are a big deal in Minnesota. Parties, barbeques, pools, fireworks – and drinking – are all part of the fun.
However, one thing you definitely don’t want highlighting your Fourth of July is a starring role in a DWI. Driving drunk puts everyone on the road at an enormous risk. It can also ruin your driving record and cost you thousands of dollars.
If you’ll be out partying this Fourth of July, pay attention to the tips below, which will help you avoid a Minnesota DWI.
4th of July DWIs and DWI Accidents in MN and Beyond
The Fourth of July is the deadliest holiday of the year for DWI accidents; in Minnesota and nationwide, more people are killed due to driving drunk over this holiday than any other day of the year — even New Year’s.
To keep Minnesotans safe from drunk drivers, police and other law enforcement agencies will be out in full force to stop drunk drivers before accidents occur. This means that if you make the regrettable decision to drive drunk, you’re much more likely to be caught.
Avoiding a Minnesota DWI
Easiest way to avoid a Minnesota DWI: Skip driving drunk. Instead, plan ahead. These tips can help you avoid a DWI and still enjoying the fireworks and festivities.
Choose a Designated Driver
For those carpooling to their Fourth of July events, choose someone to remain sober before the festivities begin. Make sure that you select someone responsible enough to stick to this plan — and treat them to a night out later on to pay them back.
Use Ride Sharing or Public Transit
When no one wants to play “DD” over the fourth, or you’d simply rather not take the risk of designating the wrong friend, ride sharing and public transit are still great options. Everyone can join in on the fun without the risk of driving home drunk. You can even schedule a pick up ahead for the end of the night to make sure that you’ll get a ride when everyone is heading out.
Stay Where You Are
In the event that a ride isn’t an option, it’s probably best to make your Fourth of July evening an overnight event. Ask if you can stay at your host’s place if you’re comfortable. For public events, book a hotel within walking distance. Either way, this will allow you to recover from all of the fun before attempting to drive home.
Don’t Drink on an Empty Stomach
If you’re planning to consume a drink or two before driving home, make sure that you don’t do it on an empty stomach. This will lead to intoxication faster, and potentially cause you to stay intoxicated for longer, as more alcohol will enter your bloodstream.
Stop Drinking Several Hours Before Driving
If you’re going to drive home after a party, keep drinking moderate (no more than three drinks) and stop completely a few hours before you drive home. Also drinking plenty of water during this time will help flush out the alcohol, and (bonus) keep you from getting a hangover the next day.
Call Someone to Pick You Up
Ultimately, everyone is human. If you plan to keep drinks to a minimum but end up overindulging, call a friend or loved one to pick you up. Chances are someone will be available – and happy – to help keep you out of an unsafe situation.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the Fourth of July, make sure that you stay safe. Minnesota DWIs are a big deal.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney 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 recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).