Avoid DUI Charges This Holiday Season

During the holiday season, you’re likely to go to more family gatherings and social functions than usual. Police are aware of the seasonal pattern, and they ramp up their enforcement of DUI laws. Play it safe to avoid charges, even if you’re drinking in moderation or not planning to drink at all.

  • Plan to stay overnight at the host’s home, or book a hotel room.
  • Choose a designated driver, and surrender your keys before getting festive.
  • Call a cab or use a ride-sharing program. Install the app before you leave home so that it’s ready to use when you need it.
  • Put your keys in the trunk or give them to a sober friend if you decide to sober up in your car.
  • Talk to young drivers in your family, and let them know you’d much rather pick them up from underage drinking than have them drive under the influence.

Arizona has harsh DUI laws. You can be charged with driving under the influence even if you are below the legal limit. Because of this, even if you only had a couple of drinks over the course of several hours, you might drive home late at night, drift slightly as you change the radio station, and find yourself charged with a DUI. If police have reason to believe you are impaired, they can charge you.

In Arizona, you can be considered in control of your vehicle even if the keys are not in the ignition. Sleeping it off in your car is certainly safer than taking the wheel, but it can be prosecuted as a DUI if you are able to access your keys. Newer cars with a keyless ignition  can actually be started with the keys in the trunk, so if you have this type of car, make sure the keys are well out of range if you’re in the vehicle after drinking.

Of course, alcohol is not the only drug that can result in DUI charges. When legalizing medical marijuana, Arizona voters chose to prohibit driving under the influence even if you are a registered medical marijuana user. Even having an up-to-date medical marijuana card will not protect you from facing DUI charges.

If you have been charged with a DUI offense, be sure to contact Nava Law Firm right away. Armando Nava handles DUI cases throughout Arizona and was recently named as one of the national top 40 under 40 trial lawyers.

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