Whether you are planning a big night out or simply heading to happy hour, the combination of alcohol and transportation is always a sticking point. It is never a good idea to get behind the wheel after you had a few beers, and in a city like New York there are plenty of other options. But as a DWI defense attorney in NYC, clients come to Greco Neyland Attorneys at Law with a variety of reasons for driving after a few drinks. From experience with these cases, these are a few tips to keep everyone safer on NYC’s roads.
The best way to avoid drinking and driving is to have your night planned before you leave the house or office. Just as you decide where to meet for happy hour or what restaurant is ideal for dinner, you can setup your ride home at the end of the night. Whether you need to schedule an Uber, arrange for a taxi pickup, confirm a friend will be your designated driver (DD), or check out Dryver do it before the beers begin. This will cut back any temptation to grab your keys and head home, which is far more likely after alcohol has dulled your judgment and decision-making.
Also, keep in mind that while a designated driver has agreed to be the responsible party for the night, it isn’t always easy for this person to follow through. If the DD ends up joining in on the alcohol, there is no foul in deciding on an alternate plan, even if it is a more costly cab ride or catching public transportation.
If you are going out for a few drinks and planning to drive home, it is highly recommended to eat dinner early on in the evening. This other activity is a distraction from the booze, which can halt a rapid rate of alcohol consumption. It can also ward off a hangover the next day (although if you are drinking that much, hopefully driving isn’t part of your plan) Another option is to alternate your alcoholic beverages with water.
However, many of the myths about food and the absorption of alcohol are simply that, myths. Eating a meal after you drink will not soak up the alcohol or help your body metabolize the alcohol faster. Therefore, don’t rely on food to sober you up before driving home.
It is never advisable to drink and drive, and your best option is to find alternate transportation after even one standard drink. Yet, many people skirt the legal limit when it comes to alcohol and operating a motor vehicle. Don’t want to get pulled over when you could be close to New York’s strict 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC)? You need to avoid giving the police any cause to notice your vehicle.
Be certain all headlights and taillights are properly maintained and operable. Don’t let your vehicle’s license plates expire and keep your registration current. Any of these lapses provide a police officer with cause to pull you over, which if you were drinking earlier in the evening could escalate to a DWI. Remember there are no “close calls” when it comes to DWI in the State of New York. A DWI defense attorney in New York represents many individuals just above the legal limit each year. If you are over the legal limit, the police officer is going to arrest you.
In addition to keeping your vehicle properly maintained and plates current, you never want to attract attention through your driving behavior. It is important to stay within the speed limit, use your blinker to make a turn or change lanes, and avoid other reckless behavior. Not only do citations and tickets for reckless driving in New York add up quickly, the average fine is over $700, but any of these mistakes allows a police office to pull you over. If there is alcohol on your breath, it is certain to lead to additional questions and possibly a roadside test or breathalyzer.
Even a single drink will affect your ability to concentrate and make decisions. That means when you slide behind the wheel, you are more prone to distractions and commotion, than a sober driver. It might be the case that you feel well within the legal limit, but it is still best to cut out all the other distractions when driving.
Distracted driving accounts for the majority of motor vehicle accidents on New York roads, and the police are vigilant when it comes to texting while driving. So, your cell phone should be the first distraction to go when on your way home. Other common distractions include consumption of food or beverages, loud or disruptive passengers, and loud music. Eliminate these distractions, and concentrate on getting home safe.
If you have been arrested or charged with DWI in New York, it is in your best interest to contact a competent DWI defense attorney in the area. The lawyers at Greco Neyland’s Manhattan office have handled a number of DWI cases in NYC and the surrounding area. We are prepared to build a solid defense to the DWI charges and help attain the best outcome possible. Learn more about our DWI defense practice on our website.
The information in this blog post (“Post”) is provided for general informational purposes only. This Post may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this Post should be construed as legal advice from Greco Neyland Attorneys at Law or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.