Avoiding a Holiday DUI

A DUI during the holidays can impact the rest of your life. Whether you made a split decision to drive when you shouldn’t have or are unfairly targeted by police, avoiding a DUI during the holidays will help you avoid steep fines, possible jail time, and loss of your driver’s license — not to mention the negative social and career implications of a DUI.   

In this brief article, our best DUI lawyers in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan have shared a few tips to avoid a DUI during the holiday season. 

Tip 1: Designate a Sober Driver

If you’re planning to drink at a holiday party or gathering, make sure that you decide ahead of time who is going to be the designated driver. If you’re going to a variety of parties or gatherings during the season, consider rotating and serving as the designated driver yourself as well. 

No matter who is the designated driver, make sure that you discuss it ahead of time and if you notice the designated driver still having a drink, talk to them and make sure they understand that they can no longer drive. You’re not only protecting yourself from a DUI, but protecting your friend or family member from a DUI and keeping everyone on the road safe.

Tip 2: Make a Plan and a Back-Up Plan

The penalties for a DUI on a golf cart are the same as the penalties for a DUI in any other vehicle. These penalties will depend on any prior offenses and are defined per section 316.193, Florida Statutes. This states that for a first conviction you’ll face:

  • A fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000
  • If blood/breath alcohol level (BAL) was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, a fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000
  • “At the court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program and credited toward the term of imprisonment.”

Additionally, imprisonment for a first conviction is:

  • Imprisonment for not more than six months
  • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, imprisonment for not more than nine months

Additionally, your vehicle may be impounded and you may lose driving privileges for as much as a year for your first offense. Remember, if you are arrested a second time on a golf cart, you’ll face even more steep consequences just as you would if you were in any other vehicle.

Tip 3: Be Prepared for the Worst

Of course, the old saying goes “you can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather”. So although you might be prepared with a designated driver, Uber, Lyft, taxi, or even hotel room, you still may find yourself behind the wheel after one or two drinks. If you find yourself in this situation and are arrested or suspected of a DUI, make sure you have the phone number of the top DUI lawyer in Clearwater stored in your phone. Even if you’re not guilty, a DUI lawyer will help you understand your rights and how to navigate DUI stops and charges. 

If you’re facing DUI charges, you need the best DUI lawyers in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan. Call us today.  

For a free consultation with the best DUI lawyers in Clearwater, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

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