Did you know that 49 percent of people plan to celebrate New Year’s at home this year? Or that 23 percent of people don’t plan to celebrate at all?
Those numbers are based on findings from WalletHub, and they might make it seem like the holiday this year is poised to be slower and quieter than normal.
Despite this, they still say that around 30 percent of people plan to head to friends’ parties or out to bars or clubs for the big night. Seeing as how New Year’s Eve is also the drunkest night of the year, it’s not much of a stretch to assume that the vast majority of those people will be drinking while they’re out and about.
Denver police know this. They will be out in full force to watch for drunk drivers. From 2010-2015, our area averaged about 42 drunk driving arrests over the New Year’s holiday weekend. If you don’t want to be one of them and plan to go out, it is vital that you plan ahead and be smart.
What can you do? Some of our suggestions you’ve likely heard many times, but others may have never occurred to you. Feel free to pick and choose the options that work best with your plans.
Use a Designated Driver
Ah, the old standby. You want to go out with friends. You want to drink and have fun. Well, one way for that to happen safely is for someone to serve as DD for the evening.
If someone in your group volunteers, great. If no one wants to do it, consider offering to buy all of their drinks the next time you go out or something similar.
Get a Cab (or Rideshare)
Why should any of your friends have to give up their night of fun? Even with premium pricing on a night like New Year’s Eve, split between you the cost of a cab, Uber, or Lyft shouldn’t be too bad. It certainly won’t be worse than the cost of getting a DUI.
It’s also a nice alternative if you’re heading out by yourself and don’t have the option of using a DD.
Bring the Alcohol to You
There are two ways to do this. First, you could be the one who hosts the party. You still get to hang out with friends and get buzzed, but you won’t have to worry about the possibility of a DUI since you’re drinking from the comfort of your own home.
What if you’re not a planner though? Or if you run out of alcohol and the party is still in full swing? Instead of heading out on a last-minute liquor run, use an alcohol delivery service. Problem solved.
Grab Your Smartphone
There are many apps available that do everything from help you track the number of drinks you’ve had and your likely BAC to calling a friend or a ride to even figuring out where the heck you are.
Take a look now to figure out which ones are likely to be the most helpful to you, then load your phone up before you head out.
Use a Breathalyzer
This past summer, CDOT was actually giving away free breathalyzers to selected people who signed up through their website. That promotion seems to be over now, but it’s still possible to buy your own breathalyzer if you want to check yourself before getting behind the wheel.
Traditional models can be purchased for $100 or less, and there are even smartphone-based breathalyzers you can try.
What If You Still Get Charged with a DUI This New Year’s?
As mentioned above, Denver police will be out in force this holiday in an effort to take as many drunk drivers as possible off the road, and you can bet that they will be looking hard at everything you do while driving. If you end up being arrested, you need to take the charge seriously.
To give yourself the best chance at a positive outcome in your case, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced Denver criminal lawyer immediately. He or she will be able to use their extensive knowledge of Colorado DUI law to protect your rights and fight to get your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.