With St. Patrick’s Day coming up soon, allow me to share my TOP 10 TIPS For People Who Party. To those of my readers who have never permitted themselves to — and would never — Drink & Drive, let me just wish you (regardless of your age, gender, or ethnicity) a safe and fun Erin Go Bragh!!
#1 – Don’t Drink In the First Place!
It is just empty, fattening calories that will/could compromise your being clear-headed and making decisions which you may later regret.
#2 – Drink Responsibly!
If you enjoy imbibing responsibly, then make sure there is a voluntary Designated Driver or at least a trusted friend or family member available to come get you at the end of the outing. Also be very aware of where your drinks are coming from and who is providing them.
#3 – Stay Hydrated!
If you are going to drink beer, wine, or any liquor, I respectfully suggest drinking lots of water to stay hydrated and minimize the possibility of a hangover or headache.
Hydrate ahead of time! Make sure you have enough electrolytes and liquid in your system for at least 2 days before your event, not only right before you go out.
#4 – Absorption!
If you’re intent is to get intoxicated/blitzed/trashed/buzzed/turnt/hammered/sloshed or merely tipsy, then consider eating some carbohydrates to soak up some of the alcohol to slow your absorption/metabolizing rate so that you can party longer and have a lower chance of getting sick to your stomach. (One’s gender, weight, muscle mass, body fat content, and chugging vs. sipping are other variables that impact this calculation.)
#5 – Don’t Assume, Test!
Heaven forbid you ignore numbers 1 through 4 and actually drink to excess, know that a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content level) of .02% is unlawful for a minor, that .08% is the legal limit for an adult, and that .16 or above subjects a drunk driver to the highest potential penalties. There are a plethora of personal devices you can purchase so you can measure for yourself. Better for you to test than a police officer.
#6 – When Testing Doesn’t Matter!
Whether you are a veteran of the bars or know how to supposedly sober up with caffeine, your thinking that you are alert and capable of safe driving with quick reflexes is probably a mirage and definitely irrelevant to what your actual BAC is anyway if you blow into a Breathalyzer or get blood drawn at a hospital.
#7 – Pulled Over?
If you see flashing red and blue lights in your rear view mirror, then carefully and without undue delay pull over to the right side berm in a safe (and preferably level) area, put your car in park and then put both arms out the driver’s side window to respectfully and deferentially let the officer know that you are not a threat. (If you are genuinely afraid for your safety due to some real or imagined fear, then call 911 to “create a paper trail” that you are not fleeing, and then park at the nearest police station or well-lighted public place.)
#8 – What You Say WILL Be Used Against You!
Be polite and cooperative WITHOUT MAKING ANY ADMISSIONS OF WRONGDOING when asked for your Driver’s License, Owner’s Card, and Proof of Insurance and possibly requested to perform (admittedly less-than-scientifically definitive) Sobriety Tests, even if they are on gravel, a hill, uneven pavement, etc.
#9 – Cooperation!
I humbly recommend that under no circumstances should you ever refuse a Breathalyzer or Blood Test since PennDOT will use that as an excuse to give you a mandatory 1-year Driver’s License Suspension regardless of what happens in the underlying Driving Under the Influence (DUI) case. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
#10 – The Ostrich Defense Doesn’t Work!
Whether this was your first Driving While Intoxicated allegation or whether you have “been around the block” a bit, seriously consider contacting a lawyer as soon as you are released (likely with an OR Bond, meaning on your Own Recognizance without having to post any bail and trusted to appear at both your Fingerprinting Appointment and a Preliminary Hearing — probably notified by a USPS-mailed Summons/Citation/Criminal Complaint), so that you and your counsel can prepare to either get the charges dismissed or reduced and mitigate any fines, court costs, length of probation, months of license suspension, and other collateral consequences. The costs long term can be far higher than paying for legal assistance.