6 Tips to Avoid a Holiday DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) arrests are at their highest during Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Between Christmas and New Year, the U.S. sees the average number of fatalities involving alcohol-impaired drivers rise 34 percent. Each year, the number of travelers flooding the roads for winter celebrations increases, including a significantly higher number of alcohol-impaired drivers.


Thanksgiving Eve is now often referred to as, “Black Wednesday,” as it has been recorded as the busiest night of the year for bars. The holiday season also sees an increase in social binge drinking. Forty (40) percent of traffic-related deaths during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays involve drunk driving, according to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

With Christmas and New Year’s quickly approaching, the increased opportunities to get arrested for a DUI are upon us. It is important to be cautious of drinking alcohol and driving every day of the year, but with the holidays quickly approaching, planning ahead and using the following tips to avoid driving drunk is especially important:

Tip 1: Don’t Drink and Drive

While this tip should be obvious, many drivers think that using DIY breathalyzer or drinking “tricks” will allow them to drink and drive home safely. Portable breath testing devices range in varying degrees of accuracy. Although your test may reveal you are safe to drive, you could be putting yourself and others in serious danger by driving if the device is even a few percentage points off.  Also keep in mind that you don’t need to be over the “legal limit” to get arrested for a DUI.  Simply “being affected” by alcohol and driving is enough to be arrested.

Drinking “tips” such as, “Drink a glass of water per alcoholic drink,” may make you feel less drunk but this doesn’t mean that you aren’t too intoxicated to drive. Ultimately, if you plan on drinking even one drink, don’t drive.

Tip 2: Be Smart About Drinking

Whether you plan to drive or not, drinking smart will make all the difference. Make sure to eat plenty of food. The consumption of food delays the absorption of alcohol, which in turn causes alcohol to be absorbed over a longer period of time in a person’s body, preventing a spike in intoxication.


Tip 3: Call a Cab Even if You Live Close

Many Seattle DUI convictions include drivers that were driving less than a mile from home. Being close to home does not increase your chance of making it home safely. Regardless of how far you plan to drive, stay with a friend or call a cab. If you have been drinking, hitch a ride with a sober driver.. A small cab fare is much cheaper than the cost of a DUI in Seattle.

Tip 4: Don’t Rely on the “One Drink an Hour” Motto

Every body reacts to alcohol differently and the “rule” of drinking one drink per hour won’t work for everyone. For some people, one alcoholic drink should be absorbed and eliminated from the human body in one hour. As a Seattle DUI attorney, I have seen time and time again where a client followed this “rule” and was still arrested for a DUI.

The way alcohol is metabolised is a very complex process and varies significantly based on a driver’s gender, weight, and the amount of water and food in their system.

Tip 5: Choose a Reliable Designated Driver

When choosing a designated driver, make sure it is someone who won’t take a sip of alcohol. It is important that this person understands the responsibility of being a designated driver.  


Tip 6: Book a Hotel or Stay with a Friend

When going to a holiday event or New Year’s Eve party, booking a room at a nearby hotel or staying with a friend is one of the best ways to avoid a Seattle DUI. Enjoy the night without worrying about how you will get home.

Common sense often goes out the window when alcohol is consumed. Having a clear plan before your next holiday event can be extremely beneficial to avoiding a Seattle DUI this holiday season. A DUI in Seattle can not only cause danger to yourself and others, but can also result in jail time, loss of a job, and can be extremely expensive to resolve.

This holiday season, be careful, make plans for a designated driver or place to stay, and most importantly, don’t drink and drive. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of a Seattle DUI arrest, give Matthew Leyba a call at 206.504.3131 for a free 60 minute, no pressure, and completely confidential case consultation.