When it comes to avoiding drunk driving, half the battle is having a plan. Alcohol impairs your judgment, which can make it harder to come up with a plan. And if your Plan A doesn’t work out, it can be difficult to come up with a Plan B.
That’s why it’s important to have a solid plan and a backup plan in place before you start drinking. But not all plans are created equal. Some can put you at risk for injuries or even arrest.
Plan 1: Designate a sober driver.
If you can get one of your friends to wholeheartedly agree to be the driver and not drink, that’s a good beginning. Make sure there are enough seats and seatbelts for everyone and be prepared with a backup plan if your sober driver breaks the rules. This may require leaving the car behind for the night, but you can pick it up tomorrow, after you’re sober.
Plan 2: Call a ride-share or a taxi.
This is another solid plan, assuming that cars are available. When using a hired vehicle, confirm that the person picking you up is the person you arranged. Find a safe place for the pickup, such as a location where you can wait inside until your ride arrives. If that isn’t possible, wait away from the road in a well-lit area with a safe place to stop. If hailing a taxi, stay out of the street. Once you’re in the vehicle, buckle up even if it’s a quick ride.
Plan 3: Take public transportation.
If public transportation is available, great! You may need to walk for a while to reach a pickup point. Be aware of your surroundings, especially if you are alone. Stay out of the street. Choose a seat near the driver and don’t go to sleep.
Be wary about walking home.
Of fatal pedestrian accidents in 2017, approximately 32% involved a pedestrian who was drunk. Walking home while drunk or high may not be a safe choice. If you have no other option than to walk, stay on the sidewalk and obey all traffic signs and signals. If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk so that you’re facing traffic and stay as far away from vehicles as possible. Try to be visible.
Don’t ride a bike or scooter home.
Drinking can affect your balance and reaction time. In 2017, around 26% of cyclists who were killed had been drinking. A scooter is even more problematic because it is considered a motor vehicle, so you could be arrested for DUI if you ride one drunk.
If you are arrested for DUI or another alcohol-related offense, don’t panic. Call an experienced lawyer to defend you.