With the nice weather finally here, it’s time to take advantage and spend some time outside. Many Buffalonians like to enjoy the sunshine, while sipping a summer cocktail, sangria, or beer. However, it’s imperative to be smart and remember to avoid drinking and driving at all costs.
New York State considers a person to be Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) when their blood alcohol content is above 0.08. Penalties for DWI include fines of $500 to $1,000, up to one year in jail, and a revoked license for at least six months. While many people’s bodies will absorb one drink per hour, it’s better to be safe than sorry and to plan ahead.
One of the oldest and best ways to avoid drinking and driving is to choose a designated driver. This may include a friend that doesn’t like to drink, can commit to a sober evening, or is not able to. Additionally, if you plan to be out and about with the same group of friends all summer, consider taking turns acting as a sober DD. Another old-fashion plan is to stay over at a friend’s house where you will be drinking. This option is both safe and inexpensive!
If designating a driver isn’t convenient, then consider taking a ride share. While taxi cabs are the most common form, many newer internet-based apps have emerged, which has lowered the cost. Companies like Uber and Lyft allow regular drivers to sign up and give rides in their cars. This type of ride share can cost $10 to $30, on average, depending on the time of day and distance you need to go. Using your phone, you arrange the ride by entering the pick-up and drop-off addresses in advance. All money goes through your credit card linked to the app, so no cash is exchanged with the driver. Always be smart and safe by making sure you check the license plate and it matches your assigned driver’s plate before getting in. While the cost of drinking and ride shares adds up quick, the price of a DWI would be much more expensive. Lawyer fees alone can range $3,000 to more than $10,000, if you are trying to get the penalty reduced.
Designated Drivers of Buffalo is another great option if you live in the Western New York area. They will come and pick you up and drive your car home so that you don’t have to leave it.
With all of these simple options decide this summer to plan ahead and stay safe!