As the weather warms up and the sunny days grow longer, there are more opportunities for socializing. From barbecues to graduation parties and beach trips to summer break, a lot of people are going to be seeking out opportunities for fun.

Whether you find yourself attending a long-planned wedding or popping by for an impromptu game night at a friend’s house, don’t let a DUI crash the party! Here, Colorado Springs DUI Lawyer Alexis Austin shares some tips for avoiding a DUI this summer.

Tip 1: Consume Alcohol in Moderation 

Obviously, the easiest way to avoid a DUI this summer is to not drink, but I’m going to assume you already know that. Alcoholic beverages are a cornerstone of many summertime activities, and the more reasonable advice is to consume them in moderation.

Pay attention to how many drinks you’ve had and alternate between alcohol and water to slow down your intake. Be sure not to drink on an empty stomach. Fats and protein are the best foods to keep you on an even keel during a night of drinking.

A general rule for moderate consumption is one drink per hour. In this case, a drink is defined as a single 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a shot of liquor. If you’ve had more than that or if you know you have a particularly low tolerance to alcohol, you may want to take extra steps to avoid driving.

One way to ensure moderation is to position yourself away from the beverages. If you’re sitting in front of a waiting cooler or standing near the bar, it’s going to be a lot easier to consume more than you intend without really noticing. Having to leave the conversation or give up your seat to get more to drink will help you stay conscious of the act.

Tip 2: Drive (Extra) Carefully 

This, again, should be a given in all conditions, but when you’ve had a few drinks (even if you’re under the legal limit), you can avoid unwanted scrutiny by making sure you follow all traffic laws. If you would normally go a little over the speed limit, roll through a stop sign, or turn without signaling, now is not the time.

Keep those hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Do not give any police officers patrolling an excuse to stop you.

Tip 3: Remember that DUIs Extend to Drugs (Even Legal Ones)

Colorado is well-known for its early adoption of legal recreational marijuana, but don’t forget that DUIs extend to driving while under the influence of drugs as well as alcohol. Consumption of marijuana can be trickier on many fronts. It can be harder for some to know when they’re impaired because of the delayed onset of the effects, and marijuana stays in the system far longer than alcohol.

No matter what substances you’ve used as part of your recreational summertime celebration, keep in mind that the impacts of a DUI can be serious.

Tip 4: Make it Easy to Get Home

Let’s face it, by the time you’re ready to make the questionable decision to get behind the wheel while impaired, and you’re not going to be in the mood to download transportation apps or look up bus routes. Make those decisions and take those actions now, before you start partying.

Download the Uber or Lyft app on your phone and put the icon on your home screen. Plot out a public transit route and know the times — especially the final stop of the night so you don’t end up stranded.

The easier you make it to make a good decision, the more likely you’ll do the right thing when the time comes. Set yourself up for future success by taking a few extra minutes of planning now.

Tip 5: Stop Drinking Early and Wait it Out

If you know you’ve got a long night planned, you can give yourself the benefit of time. Stop drinking at least an hour and a half before you plan to leave. If you’re feeling at all impaired, stick around longer than you had planned. Giving yourself two or three hours to sober up can be the difference between a (potentially deadly) mistake and a safe evening for everyone.

If you’re somewhere that has a closing time, scope out some after-hours restaurants where you can hang out until you’re feeling more capable of driving home safely. There’s also no shame in asking to crash on a friend’s couch for the night!

Making the choice to drink and drive has the potential to disrupt your life for a very long time and cause serious harm or even death to others. What feels like one quick night of fun can easily turn into a legal nightmare, so be smart and set yourself up for good decisions from the beginning.

If you have been charged with DUI, reach out to a Colorado Springs DUI attorney right away for a free case review.

About Right Law Group

Right Law Group is a Colorado Springs criminal defense law firm that specializes in DUI defense, domestic violence charges, traffic violations, and other serious misdemeanors and felonies. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, call Right Law Group for a free, no-hassle, 100% honest assessment of your charges. Payment plans are available. Contact us with any legal concerns.