There's a national DUI crackdown looming in the very short distance, beginning Friday (August 16) and running through Labor Day (September 2). So before you decide to celebrate the unofficial end of summer by tossing back a cold one, be smart.
Remember that if you plan to drive at all after drinking, you risk losing a lot. From a DUI arrest to fines, jail time, and a tarnished rap sheet, the bottom line is that it's just not worth it.
As a refresher, here are five sobering DUI facts that you may want to keep in mind as the nationwide DUI crackdown gets underway:
Why now? The focus on the DUI crackdown is a common one during holiday periods. With the long Labor Day weekend coming up, it's only natural that law enforcement agencies want to start their enforcement efforts sooner rather than later.
BAC of less than 0.08 percent? You can still get arrested. While the legal blood-alcohol level for adults is generally 0.08%, there are other limits to be aware of. Many states have strict "zero-tolerance" BAC laws for drivers under 21 and even for some adults (when transporting children as part of a day-care business, for example). And keep in mind that in most states (like Pennsylvania), "intoxicated" driving applies not only to alcohol but to drugs as well.
Drugged driving is starting to rival drunken driving. As mentioned, you not only need to watch out for what you drink, but also anything else that you may injest into your system. These days, drugged driving DUIs are rivaling drunken driving DUIs. This includes driving while high on subtances like cocaine and marijuana, as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications like sleeping pills, antihistamines, antidepressants, and more.
DUIs will cost you, big-time. You probably know that DUIs can be expensive, but there are many additional costs that you may not know about. For example, did you know that if you have to install an ignition interlock device in your car (which is an annoying enough cost on its own), then you have to pay monthly fees and installation costs out of your own pocket? Also, your car insurance premiums are bound to go up. This is in addition to the usual hefty fines (which can run into the thousands, sometimes more), and possible jail time (which is never fun).
DUIs are not just for cars. If you drink, then stay away from driving a car -- or riding a bike or even piloting a boat. BUIs, also known as biking (or boating) under the influence, is a real crime, and depending on which state you are in, they can be treated just as harshly as DUIs in automobiles.
So as with any other holiday, remember: Have fun marking the end of summer during this period before Labor Day, but stay safe and don't drink and drive!