DUI and the Holidays

Holiday Cheer May Cause Holiday Problems

Don’t Turn Your Holiday into a Nightmare!

During the holiday season there’s quite a bit to celebrate and enjoy: office parties, family gatherings, extended happy hours, etc.  These times call for caution and balance.

Caution and Balance are Required.

Be careful not to enjoy or celebrate too much and get behind the wheel, or you may be dealing with a DUI with all the fixings. Don’t be afraid to take an Uber or Lyft to that gathering, and back home.  Don’t be the designated driver unless you completely avoid alcohol – that’s a recipe for disaster, or worse.

If you’re on any type of medication, don’t forget that under the law, a person can be charged with DUI if that person is under the “influence of an intoxicating liquor or any drug or both”; so if you’re on prescription medication that can affect your ability to drive a motor vehicle, then you could be charged for a DUI, even if you had no alcohol or illegal drugs in your system.

DUI Checkpoints and theThe Law

DUI Affects Everyone

A person commits a DUI (1) when such person is under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or any drug or both, OR when such person has an elevated blood/alcohol content, AND (2) such person operates, (3) a motor vehicle.

In Connecticut, the court has ruled that “operation” of a motor vehicle includes sitting in the driver’s seat with the engine off, but with the keys in the ignition.  So, if someone pulls over and tries to “sleep it off”, but leaves the keys in the ignition, they have satisfied the element of “operation.”  With today’s KEYLESS ENTRY/IGNITION automobiles, operation is triggered if you have the key fob within range of ignition.

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN? Enjoy, celebrate and have fun, but don’t drive after drinking any alcohol or if on certain medications (or both).  If you do, you may spend that your holiday season unraveling a DUI nightmare.

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