If there is one thing you can count on during the holiday season, it is finding opportunities for parties and get-togethers. You may be invited to office parties, class reunions, family holiday parties and nights out with friends. One other thing you may notice this time of year, there are a lot OUI arrests.
Between Thanksgiving and into the new year, there is usually a significant spike in OUI arrests due to the increased amount of drinking and law enforcement patrols.
If you have never been arrested for an OUI, then you better watch out, this is the time of year when you can easily be caught for the first time. An OUI conviction is not only costly, but under certain circumstances, can also land you in jail.
Massachusetts OUI laws
In the state of Massachusetts, the legal limit for your blood alcohol content (BAC) to drive is 0.08%. You can be convicted if you are at or above that level or if it is determined that you do not have the ability to operate a motor vehicle. Officers may determine you are under the influence by the smell of alcohol, a field sobriety test or even by the way you were driving.
Since this time of year may put you in festive situations that you are not normally in, you may not have the discipline or knowledge to know when you are too impaired to drive. This can easily happen if you do not normally consume a lot of alcohol or usually stay out late. If this sounds like you, here are some tips you can follow this holiday season:
- Don’t drink – You will be guaranteed not to be arrested for OUI if you don’t drink or take any other drug that would impair your driving.
- Drink responsibly – If you do decide to drink, enjoy each drink in moderation and keep track of how many you have had. Eat plenty of food and cut yourself off at least an hour before you leave.
- Get a ride – If you feel that you did have a little too much, it is not worth risking it. It may seem like a hassle to call for a ride when you have a car right outside, but the hassle is probably better than the regret you will have if you are arrested for OUI.
- Bring along a designated driver – If you can, have a designated driver. Better yet, spend the night at a place that is within a short walking distance of where you have been drinking.
During this time of year, it is not only important to take care of yourself, but also to others. If you are with friends or family that you can tell have had too much to drink, do your best to keep them from driving. If you are hosting a party, keep an eye on guests who appear too impaired to drive and help them out as much you can. Guarding against an OUI for yourself and even friends and family can help keep the holiday season one of happiness and joy.