Memorial Day is quickly approaching at the end of May, so now is a good time to talk about alcohol, driving and how to avoid a DUI. Memorial Day is a kind of “drinking holiday,” which means that there are often alcoholic beverages at parties and events on this date. At the same time, most Memorial Day weekends are when law enforcement takes to the streets in force for enhanced enforcement periods.
What this means is that it is more likely for you to get a DUI during Memorial Day than on some other dates, if only because there are more officers out on the roads. To better protect yourself, you should make sure you have a sober ride home.
Is Memorial Day known for drunk driving?
Yes, and that’s part of the issue. Drink driving is a leading killer on the roads, and Memorial Day is known to have a large proportion of drunk drivers on the streets. Some people only drink alcohol, but others may mix that alcohol with prescription or illicit drugs.
What are some options for getting home safe if you decide to drink at an event?
If you want to drink, make a plan not to drive. There are many alternative options such as:
- Walking home
- Staying at a nearby hotel to avoid driving
- Staying overnight with friends or family
- Having a non-drinker drive you home
- Using a taxi service
- Opting to use a ride-share program
- Taking public transportation when available
All of these options help minimize your risk of getting stopped for drinking and driving.
Drinking and driving leads to serious harm
In 2017, 37% of the deaths that happened on Memorial Day weekend were a result of drunk driving. The good news is that people have opportunities to mitigate their risk.
If you are stopped, though, remember that the officers still need to have a reason to pull you over. If they ask for a Breathalyzer test, refusing may result in the immediate loss of your license. Know your rights, but be aware that the police will be out in force, so they are actively going to look for impaired, negligent or reckless drivers. You have a right to a defense if you are accused of being one of them.