While St. Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, started as a religious celebration of the patron saint of Ireland in the early 17th century, it has since become a slightly more secular celebration of the Emerald Isle and Irish culture in general. In North America, people have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day since the late 18th century, which includes parades, religious observances, wearing the color green, and, most infamously, lots of alcohol. While there’s nothing wrong with celebrating Irish heritage, those who do drink sometimes attempt to get behind the wheel after a few pints of green, St. Patrick’s Day beer. If you plan on imbibing this year, make sure to take a few precautions to avoid getting a DUI.
1. Don’t Drive
While this may seem like a simple solution to some, others may not be so keen to follow it. Many people enjoy driving, particularly as it allows them the freedom to journey to places they can’t reach on foot. However, it’s easier than you think to avoid driving on St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with fantastic public transportation, such as Cleveland, consider riding the metro to your destination. It might be a little chilly, but with Irish whiskey singing in your veins, you’re less likely to notice the cold. If public transportation isn’t an option, consider calling a Lyft, Uber, or cab. While the fare could be expensive on more heavily trafficked nights, such as St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve, if you split the cost with a few friends, the expense drops significantly. This could be especially fun if you and a few friends decide to continue the party at home.
2. Check Online for Any DUI Checkpoint Alerts
While DUI stops are legal in Ohio, the National Highway Safety Transportation Board issued guidelines for police on how to conduct sobriety checkpoints. Before implementing a checkpoint, law enforcement must publicize it, meaning you will have advanced warning if there is a sobriety check in your area. Keep an eye on your phone. Certain websites will update you with any notices. If you receive such an alert, wait until you’ve sobered up or until the inspection has passed to proceed to your next destination. Or, if you still want to leave, take a cab, Uber, or Lyft instead.
3. Buy Your Own Breathalyzer
While even professional breathalyzers used by the police can have calibration errors, purchasing a handheld version of your own could save you trouble down the road. Personal breathalyzers can run from $6 to $220, and this may be a case where you get what you pay for. Check any product reviews before you purchase and ensure your breathalyzer works before packing it in your pocket on St. Patrick’s Day. If you think you’re okay to drive after a few drinks, check your blood alcohol content (BAC). All states have a legal limit of 0.08% BAC. If your breathalyzer shows your levels are higher, wait a couple of hours before driving home.
If you’ve already been charged with DUI, make sure you have the experienced legal counsel you deserve. Contact one of our Dayton DUI lawyers at L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC. We have more than 30 of experience in criminal defense. Let us help you defend your rights.