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Plan ahead to avoid drunk-driving this weekend

As you are making your Fourth of July plans, make sure to determine how you are going to get home after the party is over. The last thing that you need this holiday weekend is to land in jail because you decided to drive home after having a few drinks.

One of the most common ways to ensure you have a safe ride home is to use a designated driver — someone who abstains from drinking any alcoholic beverages for the night in order to drive everyone home safely. Many establishments provide free non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers. Find out if this is the case for the location of the party you plan to attend.

Another way to make sure that you get home without driving drunk is to use a ride-sharing program. Be sure to either download the app or get the contact information beforehand so that you can easily get in touch with the company when it is time for you to head for home.

If the party is at a person's home, you can find out if you can sleep off the booze there. Some hosts even encourage inebriated guests to spend the night, but not everyone will have room for all of their guests overnight. If the host can't spare a spot for guests to crash, they might arrange rides for tipsy guests instead.

Sometimes circumstances just don't pan out the way people intend and they feel like they have no other option but driving home after drinking. Remember that the South Carolina Highway Patrol and local police will be out in force this Independence Day weekend. If you wind up stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, remember to preserve your rights against self incrimination until your defense attorney arrives.

Source: State Farm, "8 Ways to Prevent Drinking and Driving," accessed June 30, 2017

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