It can be easy to think one drink out at dinner or at a party is not big deal. But one drink can easily turn into more. When you drink and choose to get behind the wheel of car, you’re risking not only your life but others’ as well. Enjoying your summer in a responsible way can save you, and others, from mistakes that will haunt you long after the season has ended.
The most dangerous months for DUIs are the prime summer months of June, July, and August. For both Memorial Day and Labor Day, the amount of national fatal accidents each year averaged in the 300s from 2011 to 2020. Memorial Day has the highest average with 312 fatal accidents, but Labor Day and the Fourth of July were close behind with 308 and 307, respectively.[i] Over Labor Day weekend in 2019, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that 147 people were killed in auto accidents as a result of drunk driving.[ii]
As it turns out, the summer months aren’t just dangerous for those who can legally drink, but also for teens who are enjoying time off from school. In July, more teens try alcohol for the first time than any other month.[iii] Underage drinking spikes in the summer, which means the roads have the potential to be even more deadly for people of all ages. Thankfully, there are more alternatives than ever before to combat drunk driving.
Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft make it easier to be responsible and are ultimately lowering the DUI rate. Not only can you call a ride at a moment’s notice, but you can also schedule rides to pick up at a predetermined time and place. Drivers for rideshare services also realize that holidays are prime times to pick-up rides, so there is usually no shortage of drivers over the holidays, especially in major cities.
Even if you’re not in a major city with rideshare options, there are other things you can do to stay responsible this summer. If you’re going out with a group, have a designated driver. If you’re not going out with a large group or have no one that wants to be a designated driver, it can never hurt to have someone on standby to come pick you up at the end of your night. If you’re at a house party or backyard barbecue, perhaps consider the option of spending the night there if you’re too intoxicated to make it home safely. Finally, most bars have a policy in place and will call you a cab if you need a safe way to get home.
Employment/Education Related Fallout
Many people charged with a DUI face employment consequences. Many more people face these types of problems if convicted. One basic employment related issue stemming from a DUI is restrictions on your ability to drive. If you have a job that requires driving, that is a serious issue. However, even if you are not required to drive on the job, getting to your place of employment can become challenging.
The impact of driving on your employment is far from the only issue you may face. The reality is that your professional reputation may be put at risk. Whether it be at your current position on a job hunt, you may have to disclose a DUI conviction, depending on the criteria used by a current or prospective employer. This could greatly limit your ability to obtain or maintain a working position.
People charged and convicted with a DUI oftentimes do not appreciate the impact this type of situation has on personal relationships. The reality is that a DUI charge, let alone conviction, can negatively impact your closest relationships, including with your family and your significant other.
Following a DUI charge and conviction, you may see your automobile insurance cancelled. You definitely will see an increase in rate. If your insurance is cancelled, you very well may have a challenging time finding replacement coverage. A new policy will come with higher premiums, likely significantly so.
We all make mistakes. If you’ve been issued a DUI, you can get your life back on track. Contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney at Bannister, Wyatt and Stalvey to find out more about your options.