Safety Tips for Oktoberfest & Other Autumn Events in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is home to a myriad of colorful cultures, all of which contribute unique customs and celebrations in our communities. Autumn in particular inspires some of the largest events of the year – statewide Oktoberfest and Halloween celebrations, Cheesesteak Festivals in Philadelphia, and dozens of harvest festivals in every region of the state.
But all this revelry comes at a price – each year, many festivalgoers make the mistake of drinking and driving. If you were charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, know that you have legal options. A Pennsylvania DUI attorney from The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis will work to have your charge dropped or reduced. Contact us online or call (215) 977-4183 today to schedule your free consultation.
Here are some helpful tips to avoid a DUI charge and the costly consequences that accompany it when drinking and celebrating with friends.
Tips for Staying Safe
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation notes that in 2021 alone there were 44,531 DUI arrests, an increase from 40,237 in 2020. Under Act 24 through Pennsylvania Judicial Code 42 PA C.S., the legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) in PA was lowered from 1.0 to 0.08. The Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Law has established a tiered-approach to DUI enforcement and treatment. The penalties that you might experience include varying terms of suspension of your license, fines, penalties, and other requirements.
The severity of the penalty leveled against you depends upon your BAC level, prior offenses, and the circumstances of your accident such as whether or not anyone was harmed or if there was property damage.
One of the most effective ways to avoid the risk of a DUI charge and for preventing harm to yourself is by putting plans in place to stay safe ahead of time.
1. Schedule a Taxi or Uber in Advance
The ease of lining up a ride through applications such as Uber or Lyft in most areas makes it easy to avoid a DUI. If you plan on going out and enjoying some alcoholic beverages, plan ahead by pre-loading your pickup and home addresses. You can also set a specific pickup time so your car will be there waiting for you. As an extra precaution, save a local taxi company’s number in your phone just in case you don’t have internet access to use a ride-sharing app.
2. Have a Designated Meet-Up Spot
Rather than driving individually to your destination, bar, or restaurant, it can be helpful to meet at a designated spot with your companions such as someone’s house. This allows a designated driver to bring everyone to the destination, and for everyone to return to a friendly location where they can sober up, rather than driving home intoxicated and risking a DUI.
3. Keep Personal Belongings Close to Your Body, Not in a Bag or Purse
Public drunkenness or intoxication is a crime in Pennsylvania. If you’re demonstrating signs of intoxication, the police may try to search your bag or purse for any items that could verify your intoxication. The police can more easily search your purse or bag than they can do a body pat down. To limit an incriminating search, keep things in your pockets instead of in a bag or purse.
4. Wear Closed-Toe Shoes
Open-toed shoes, sandals, or heels can likely cause you to trip, which to a police officer could be reasonable suspicion of intoxication and could lead to a public drunkenness charge if you’ve inconvenienced or endangered someone else. These types of shoes might also cause you to stumble, trip, or have less balance if you consent to field sobriety tests after being pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence.
5. Drink Plenty of Water and Snack Often
In addition to being better for your overall health, being and staying hydrated can help minimize the effects of alcohol. It’s recommended that you drink 16 ounces of water for every 12-ounce beer or 4-6 ounces of liquor. It’s also recommended that you consume vitamin-rich foods before drinking and that you eat as needed while you drink, especially if it’s been several hours since your last meal.
Although these tips are helpful for mitigating the effects alcohol might have on your body, the best practice to ensure everyone’s safety and to avoid a DUI is to not drive after consuming any alcohol because any alcohol consumption could lead to legal impairment, even if your BAC is under 0.08.
Connect with a Pennsylvania DUI Attorney for Help
If you’ve been charged with DUI, it’s essential to carefully scrutinize the case against you because a skilled attorney could get your charges reduced or dismissed if the police or prosecutor made a mistake, didn’t have proper training, or didn’t adhere to the rules and regulations required of them in a DUI arrest and investigation.
Reach out to the Pennsylvania DUI attorneys at The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis as soon as possible after you’ve been arrested or charged. Call (215) 977-4183 or visit our site to schedule a consultation.