If you enjoy celebrating holidays, you may be gearing up for Saint Patrick’s Day, which is right around the corner. Perhaps it’s the one day of the year when you wear green from head-to-toe. You might even eat and drink green things at a Florida restaurant as part of your luck-o’-the-Irish festivities. It’s the drinking part that gets a lot of people into trouble, which is why you’ll want to make sure your holiday fun doesn’t come to an abrupt end because an officer pulls you over and arrests you for suspected DUI.
If you plan on imbibing a green beer or other alcoholic beverages while you’re decked out in shamrocks and leprechaun attire, it’s helpful to keep several things in mind so a fun celebration doesn’t wind up being an evening full of legal problems.
The effects of alcohol on the brain are unique for each person
In Florida, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level must be below .08% to legally operate a motor vehicle. The problem is that you have no way of knowing what your BAC is without taking a breath, blood, urine or saliva test. Your friend might be able to have several drinks before his or her BAC reaches .08%, but your body might register at that level after consuming only one or two drinks.
Even before your BAC reaches .08%, you might show signs of cognitive impairment. This is why it’s always safest to abstain from alcohol altogether if you plan on driving.
You can leave your vehicle behind and get an Uber or Lyft
If you’ve been having a great time in one of Florida’s many Irish pubs on St. Patrick’s Day and determine that it wouldn’t be safe or prudent to drive home, you can secure transportation through a ride-share company, such as Uber or Lyft. You wouldn’t be the first person to use such services to avoid getting into a collision or being arrested for DUI after drinking alcohol on a night out.
Issues that give police reasonable cause to pull you over
Consuming an alcoholic beverage and then driving a motor vehicle doesn’t necessarily mean you are breaking the law. As mentioned earlier, however, you might show signs of impairment after only one or two drinks. If a police officer sees your tires touching the yellow line when you drive or thinks you are braking or accelerating in a way that doesn’t fit the current flow of traffic, or you have forgotten to turn on your headlights and it is dark outside, an officer may stop you.
If you take a field sobriety test or breath test and fail, your St. Patrick’s Day fun may come to a halt when police take you into custody for suspected drunk driving.
If you are involved in a collision after drinking alcohol
You don’t have to be intoxicated to be involved in a motor vehicle collision. If you are in an accident and police smell alcohol on your breath, you could wind up facing DUI charges in court, especially if someone suffered injury in the crash.
Since there are severe penalties for conviction of DUI in Florida, most people seek criminal defense support as soon as they are in police custody. Being proactive in this way has helped many people mitigate their circumstances when facing drunk driving charges in court.