As you’re planning your holiday social calendar, don’t forget to arrange for a designated driver to provide transportation from parties where alcohol will be served.
Drinking and driving is never a good idea, but it’s especially dangerous during the holiday season. Heavy traffic and the high prevalence of social drinking creates a serious safety hazard. According to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers. This represents a 12% increase over the rest of the month of December, which is still one of the deadliest months of the year in terms of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents.
To help keep the roads safe for everyone, Idaho State Police up their enforcement of the state’s DUI regulations. The legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) for a DUI is .08% for drivers age 21 and older, .04% for commercial drivers, and .02% for drivers under 21. A first offense DUI carries up to a six month jail sentence, plus fines of up to $1,000 and a license suspension of 90 to 180 days. Once you’re allowed to drive again, you’ll be required to carry SR-22 insurance, which is a type of coverage for high risk drivers that is quite costly compared to other types of insurance coverage.
Idaho has an implied consent law. This means that refusing to take a chemical test when it is requested by a law enforcement officer results in a fine and automatic license suspension. First offenders get a one year license suspension and a $250 fine.
Still not convinced? Remember that driving on snow and ice is tricky even when you’re 100% sober. Heading home in poor weather conditions when you’re intoxicated is a recipe for disaster. With slower reflexes, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to react to road hazards in time to prevent an accident.
If you’re attending a work related party, you should also keep in mind that alcohol lowers your inhibitions and affects your judgement. You don’t want to risk doing anything that could jeopardize your job or make you be seen as a less than dedicated employee, whether that involves getting arrested for a DUI or having too much to drink and hitting on your boss.
Holzer Edwards Can Help
In addition to criminal penalties, drunk drivers can be held liable for any damages they cause. If you or someone you love is injured by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other accident-related expenses. Call (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 to speak with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Holzer Edwards.