It’s a social holiday marathon where countless Christmas office parties, family gift-giving dinners, and neighbourhood tree lighting ceremonies quickly fill up the calendar. With so much celebrating going on, it is easy to get caught up in the holiday festivities and overdo the holiday cheer. Local D.U.I. lawyer, Virginia Dolinska, advises holiday revellers to remember these 8 tips to avoid ride program drama:
Avoid the Last Drink
Dolinska states, “so many of our clients are charged with low blood alcohol readings. If they had simply avoided their last drink, or consumed light beer instead, they might not have been charged.”
“Sleeping it Off” Doesn’t Always Work
Contrary to popular belief, RIDE Programs are not only at midnight. It’s frustrating for many people charged, thinking that the wise thing to do was to spend the night at their hosts’ house after a heavy night of drinking, only to find themselves pulled over at 9:00 in the morning, blowing over. Few people realize that it takes two hours to burn off one standard drink. 1 drink per hour does not equal sobriety.
A short and entertaining cartoon on RIDE Program issues
Beware of Drive-Thru Calls
“In our firm’s experience, the most effective RIDE Programs are the informal ones at fast food restaurant drive-thrus. What happens is the driver puts their order into the intercom, the cashier notes a slur in the voice suspecting an impaired driver, and the police are called while the food order is being prepped.”
Portable Testing Instruments Can Be Faulty
Avoid placing too much trust and reliance on a portable testing instrument. While this tool can be quite useful, the calibration requires complete and utter accuracy. Also, after a few drinks, you might not be following the instrument instructions as well as you should!
Understand How Impairment Works
If you’re a novice drinker, or are even tired, you can be impaired at a much lower blood alcohol level than 80. For impaired driving law, “impairment” means “any” impairment of your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Intoxication does not need to be proven. For a good example of this, see how accurate you are typing normally on your cell phone or playing a video game. Then have 2 drinks. You’ll be shocked by how bad your fine motor skills quickly get.
Far too often, a person has the intention of only having “a couple” of drinks before calling it a night, but then they find themselves caught up in holiday festivities and overindulging. If partaking in holiday events, particularly on popular nights such as Christmas or New Year’s Eve, reserve an Uber or taxi well in advance or assign a designated driver.
Have Your Contact Ready
If you’re taken to the police station for breath testing, make sure you speak to a lawyer from the police station before breath testing. If charged, contact a criminal lawyer to help you right away.
Avoid Drinking Altogether
The safest plan of all, of course, is to avoid alcohol and drugs when planning to drive.
Virginia Dolinska joined the Criminal Law firm of Aitken Robertson after graduating with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Ottawa. Her practice is exclusively restricted to criminal law. She represents individuals charged with all criminal offences within Ontario with an advocacy style that is vigorous above all.