Ah, Springtime is finally here! The season is filled with warm weather, family cookouts, trees and flowers blooming new life; what is there not to love? Festivals across the state, like the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia bring out crowds to enjoy great food and activities for the entire family. Getting in the spirit of spring is not difficult here in the South!
There is no question that warmer weather brings everyone outside to enjoy Mother Nature. Over the years, I have noticed an increase in DUI arrests when the weather starts to heat up. Whether it be the neighborhood cookouts or getting out to enjoy a night out, I can assure you that local law enforcement is also aware of increased drinking and driving this time of year.
How Can You Stay Safe This Season?
Understand that you may not know your limit. It is very easy to drink more than what the legal limit allows. The legal limit in Georgia is .08, and this is a very low threshold for most people. Many people may not even feel intoxicated at .08. Furthermore, you can still be arrested in Georgia even if you test below the legal limit when a police officer believes you are a less safe driver due to the consumption of alcohol. If you want to consume any amount of alcohol, have a designated driver or take a ride-sharing service.
A good practice is to stay at home when you want to drink. Have a cookout at the house and enjoy that beautiful back yard you just landscaped. Invite your neighbors and have fun. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a beer at home. Just make sure if you have anyone traveling to your home that wants to enjoy a drink, that they have a safe way of getting back home.
Make sure you stay hydrated. The weather heats up fast in Georgia. One drink in hot weather can have a significant effect on you versus the same drink consumed in an air-conditioned room. Staying hydrated can help. We see many BUIs (Boating under the influence) this time of year because many boaters underestimate the fluid they need to stay hydrated under the hot sun. Drink plenty of water if you are going to be outside enjoying the weather.
Provide non-alcoholic drinks for guests. If you are throwing a cookout, make sure to have non-alcoholic beverages for guests and designated drivers to enjoy. Also, encourage guest to pre-arrange a safe ride home.
Be aware that bad behavior in public can lead to an arrest, even when you are not driving. Our office represents people for public intoxication, pedestrian under the influence, open container, and disorderly conduct. By being careful, you can avoid being charged with any alcohol-related offense.
This bottom line is that we all enjoy good weather and fun. There is nothing wrong with drinking responsibly. However, law enforcement agencies will have DUI Checkpoints across Georgia to enforce Georgia DUI Laws. Drink responsibly and have a designated driver, or use a ride-sharing service.