Want to avoid a holiday drunk driving charge? Use this guide

According to government statistics, about 40% of all traffic fatalities during Christmas and New Year's are related to drunk driving. That's a big jump from the 28% of fatalities attributed to that cause during the rest of the year.

You can be sure that the Alabama police will be on the lookout for drunk drivers this Christmas and New Year's once again. They'll also be looking for drivers who are just "buzzed" -- or anybody else who might have had a drink or two before hitting the road.

That's why it's especially important to be cautious about your driving habits during this time of year. If you want to avoid a charge of driving under the influence (DUI), here are some ideas you can use:

1. Don't look for trouble

The smartest thing you can do is to simply avoid drinking and driving altogether. If you have to drive, skip the alcohol altogether. Relish in your role as the designated driver for the night, instead.

2. Know your limits

If you are going to drink, know how much you can consume without getting drunk and how long it takes for the effects of the alcohol to wear off. While there are charts that can provide general guidelines for safe alcohol consumption, everybody is different. Just remember that drinking to the point of being drunk is the root of many poor decisions.

3. Sleep it off

Even in small amounts, alcohol can make you sleepy. You don't want fatigue to increase the odds that you'll be in a wreck or wind up with a DUI. If you're out celebrating, find a spot on a friend's couch or spare room so that you can sleep off the alcohol and head home when you're sober.

Nobody wants to start the new year with a DUI charge. If it happens, however, take the necessary steps to protect your rights.

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