A terrible way to celebrate a holiday weekend is with a DUI. Yet so many holiday revelers will be cursing themselves as they end the weekend in a squad car or a drunk tank.
No matter what holiday you're celebrating, follow these five legal tips for dealing with a holiday weekend DUI:
1. Do Not Drink and Drive/Boat/Horseback-Ride/Zip Around in a Wheelchair.
This title may look like a terrible madlib answer, but the truth is that you can get busted for drunkenly operating just about any mode of transportation, depending on how your state's laws are written. Don't take our word for it, here are some real-life examples:
- A slurring Erin Brockovich was busted for BUI last June after operating a boat on Lake Mead and blowing a 0.190 percent blood-alcohol level.
- Arrests have been made in Ohio and Pennsylvania where the drunken "driver" was in a motorized wheelchair got arrested.
- A Kentucky man was arrested in 2012 for riding a horse while at twice the legal limit.
The only legally safe mode of transport that you control while drunk is walking.
2. Watch for DUI Checkpoints.
DUI checkpoints are legal in most states, and officers may even check for evidence of drug use. In addition to not drinking and driving, you can be aware of these checkpoints ahead of time, avoid erratic driving or movement, and avoid talking back to officers.
3. Prescriptions and Pot Count Too.
Whether you just downed a bottle of codeine cough syrup or toked on some medical-grade grass, you shouldn't be driving. It is DUI-worthy in any state to drive impaired under the influence of drugs, regardless of whether these drugs are legal. Law enforcement has been tinkering with ways to measure THC levels, so you may be facing a drug swab to test how high you are if pulled over.
4. You May Have to Be Extra-Patient.
Like most weekend DUI arrests, you may be sitting in a holding cell for 48 to 72 hours before you're actually before a judge for your arraignment. Courts aren't typically open on major holidays (like Labor Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Christmas, etc.), so if you're arrested over a holiday weekend, you may be stuck in jail for a bit longer than usual until the courts are open.
5. You Can Still Bail Yourself Out.
In contrast to courts, most bail bond places are open on weekends and holidays, giving your friends and family the option to immediately bail you out for your DUI.
Once you're bailed out, you may want to call an experienced DUI attorney, or at least research a few firms (because like courts, attorneys take holidays off too). To learn more, check out FindLaw's DUI section and our free Guide to DUI Charges.