Green beer, green hair and pub crawls are all familiar parts of St. Patrick’s Day in the United States. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest “binge drinking” days of the year – particularly among young people.
It’s also a big day for alcohol-related car accidents — many of which prove fatal to drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Because of this, you can bet that the police will be patrolling the streets of Grand Rapids more than usual.
What happens if you take a chance and are charged with drunk driving?
In Michigan, charges of driving under the influence (DUI) are broken down into different categories, but the typical first offense can net you:
- Over 90 days in jail
- Fines up to $500 (in addition to court costs and other legal fees)
- Six points on your driving record
- A mandatory drunk driving education course
- 360 hours of community service
If you are on your second or third conviction, you can expect the penalties to get even worse.
What’s a much better alternative to trying to drive home after drinking?
Ideally, you should leave your car at home before you go out celebrating. If you can’t walk to your favorite party spot, plan ahead:
- Get a designated driver lined up from among your pals
- Arrange for a friend or relative to pick you up when you call
- Take public transportation and plan your trip back in advance
- Set the Uber or Lyft app up on your phone and use it
- See if there are free taxi rides being offered in your area
Most people who get behind the wheel after drinking do it because they just didn’t think about the logistics of their night in advance. If you make a mistake, don’t let it destroy your future. Get experienced guidance so that you fully understand your legal options.