Avoiding DWI on Thanksgiving
Ah, the holidays. It’s that time of year and after two years of quarantine people are more than eager to get together with friends and family. It was a long two years and a visit is overdue. For many, celebrating the holidays involves sipping on your favorite adult beverage and calling it a night. But for some, it can go a little too far. Maybe that Eggnog was just too creamy or that old fashioned snuck up on you after the third. Either way, drunk driving accidents and tickets have become par for the course this time of year. We don’t want you to get a DWI at the holidays.
The Cost of DWI
DWI is a significant financial burden to people. There’s a reason for that. The hope is that the massive cost of a DWI deters people from actually drinking and driving. In New Hampshire there are mandatory penalties for a DWI-1st offense, assuming no “aggravating factors”. This includes Minimum fine of $500.00, maximum $1200.00, plus a 24% penalty assessment. Mandatory minimum license loss of 9 months, which may be reduced to as little as ninety days based on conditions.
If you lose your license, you’ll probably have to spend an exorbitant amount of money on Ubers and cabs to get to and from appointments, friend’s homes, and of course, work.
Beyond the financial burden of a DWI, there’s the social stigma attached to one. People will doubt your credibility as an individual. If you’re applying to a job or a job offer is contingent on a clean record, you’ll at a minimum have to explain your situation to HR and possibly could lose any chance at having a job with the company.
How long does a DWI stay on record?
A DWI or Aggravated DWI stays on your record for 10 years from the date of conviction before you can file a petition to annul it. In addition to losing your license and having this on your record for 10 years, if you’re an out-of-state visitor and get caught in New Hampshire it’s highly likely your home state will find out and you’ll face repercussions there as well. This is because New Hampshire participates in the Interstate Motor Vehicle Compact and reports convictions to sister states.
Avoiding a DWI
You know what they say about an ounce of prevention? The same rings true for DWI. Avoiding them to start with is the best way to ensure you don’t get stuck with the massive legal and personal headache that they are. After all, the holidays are for fun. So, what’s a person to do?
Here are a few pro tips:
Know Your Limits | Know when to cut yourself off, how long you should “nurse” a beverage, and about how long it’ll take to sober up even if you’re buzzed. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving and even if you think you’re ok to drive, that doesn’t mean the law does.
Keep Yourself Accountable | If you’re planning to indulge, ask a friend or family member to keep you accountable. Hand them your keys and tell them to only give them back to you if you’re absolutely sober and capable of driving. Remember, though, if you do this don’t try to fake your way out of it. You are ultimately responsible for your actions.
Alternate Water and Drinks | In between socializing and catching up with friends, make sure you alternate drinks. Start with a water, then grab a drink, then water, etc. You’ll be nicely loosened up, but also give your body a chance to metabolize what you’re taking in.
Eat | There’s so much good food this time of year. Say goodbye to your diet and indulge a bit in some goodies. It’ll also help lessen the effects of the alcohol.
What if I’ve had too much?
Ok, so you’ve made it to the party, are having a fantastic time, and the next thing you know, it’s winding down and you are not ok to drive. Well, good on you for recognizing that. The next thing to do is get an Uber or Lyft driver to pick you up. Even if it’s $100 to get back to your house, the potential lives saved (including your own) and thousands saved in legal and court fees, will be worth it.
We want everyone to enjoy a safe holiday season. Don’t let a DWI on Thanksgiving wreck it for you. Take the proper precautions and, if you find yourself in a DWI situation and need help, give our experienced New Hampshire DWI attorneys a call. We have helped many people navigate DWI and driving offenses and work to get the most favorable outcome for you.