A drunk-driving lawyer’s 7 tips for avoiding a DUI in Columbus
Holiday parties, birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, much-needed happy hours … there’s no shortage of reasons to crack open a cold one or hit the wine bar on a Saturday (or Tuesday) night. The problem is, most of us shouldn’t get behind the wheel after having even just a couple drinks. Yet, time and time again, we convince ourselves that we’re “OK.” This strategy works until it doesn’t — and you find yourself face-to-face with an officer.
Need a little help avoiding a buzzed — or worse, totally drunk — drive home? I’ve got them. Here are seven foolproof ways to avoid getting behind the wheel, culled from years of experience as a Columbus, Ohio drunk-driving lawyer at Yavitch & Palmer.
1. Explore your neighborhood.
That dive bar just down the street? It’s probably not that bad. Giving your local spots a try is a great idea for several reasons, the primary one being that you can trek there on foot.
2. Have a game plan.
There’s something really appealing about the guy (or gal) who “goes with the flow,” and, on principal, doesn’t make plans. But if you start your evening without a care in the world, you’re more likely to end up drunk before you know what hits you.
Before you enter the bar or party, decide what your drink maximum is — and stick to it. If you think you can stick to a couple, do it. If you think it’s going to be a five-drink night, call an Uber to pick you up at home. Trust me, it’s worth the cash.
3. Have a designated friend on speed dial.
If the evening takes a turn and you end up surpassing your initial drink limit, shoot them a text. Tip: Make sure they’re aware of their role for the evening; they can’t help you if they’re also heading to the bar.
4. Know where you can leave your car overnight.
Sure, going to pick it up in the morning isn’t likely to be the highlight of your week, but if you’re parked in a nice garage or, better yet, in a friend’s driveway, you don’t need to worry about your vehicle’s safety. Instead, you can focus on your own. The fewer excuses you can make, the better.
5. Consider public transportation.
Riding the bus is cheap, easy and, if you’re familiar with the neighborhood and the routes, safe. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly — consider this your conversation-starter at the bar.
6. Remember to drink water and eat an appropriate meal, too.
You may end up consuming enough alcohol to make driving dangerous, but you’ll have a clearer mind with a bit food in your system. This means the decision to not drive can still be made by you. Or, you could follow the advice of Jim Koch, the co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams). Last year, Koch told Esquire his foolproof plan to drink all night and not get drunk.
7. Have someone check in on you.
Maybe it’s the designated driver you have on speed dial, maybe it’s your girlfriend; just make sure someone you trust knows you’re out drinking. Even if they didn’t initially have plans to pick you up, they may end up saving your night from disaster.
Bonus: Call a trusted Columbus criminal defense attorney.
In sum, be safe. Be happy. And be smart. If you want to be extra smart, put our number in your phone now: 614-224-6142. And go ahead and bookmark the Yavitch & Palmer contact page for future reference.