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Party ahead: take a few detours to avoid DUI

Any night can be the biggest party night of the year. For many people, the biggest night is the last night of the year, New Year’s Eve. For others, it might be when they land that hoped-for job, break up with a significant other, celebrate the big win of the season, or just about any other reason under the sun.

No matter the night or the reason, there are a few steps you can take to diminish the odds that you wind up in the back seat of a Loudoun County law enforcement vehicle arrested for DUI.

If you’re planning a big New Year’s Eve, perhaps the easiest and cheapest way to avoid a drunk driving arrest is to make use of the annual Holiday SoberRide program in operation from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. You simply call to get a free cab ride (up to $30) throughout eastern Loudoun County.

Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William counties also have the service for people age 21 and older.

Other ideas for New Year’s Eve – and the rest of the year – include the following:

  • Choose a designated driver: a sober friend or significant other who will abstain from drinking for the entire evening and will drive you and others home after the party ends
  • Eat: food can help ease the effects of alcohol, so be sure to eat while consuming beer, wine or mixed drinks (avoid salty snacks that increase thirst)
  • Taxi or ride-sharing service: paying for a cab ride is much cheaper than dealing with Virginia’s harsh DUI law punishments that can include jail time, fines and fees, a mandated ignition interlock device (at your expense) and more

An experienced DUI defense attorney understands that mistakes happen. If you slip up, take the time to discuss your legal options with a lawyer rather than compounding your problems by automatically pleading guilty.

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