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To be crystal clear about this: Drinking and driving is dangerous. The only 100% certain way you can avoid a drunk driving charge and the consequences that follow — including an ignition interlock device on your car — is to simply never drink before you get behind the wheel.

You also need to educate yourself (and your friends and family members) about the realities of drinking and driving. Here are some hard truths about drinking and driving that everyone should know:

  • It is never okay to “have one for the road.” That alcohol could hit you when you’re halfway home and cause you to make a dangerous mistake on the road.
  • You will not sober up if you have a shower and some coffee. The idea that a quick shower and some caffeine will counter the effects of alcohol are pure Hollywood fiction.
  • Eating something first won’t keep you sober. Food may delay the absorption of alcohol into your system, but it won’t prevent it.
  • Drinking “just beer” or wine won’t prevent you from getting drunk. Alcohol in any form is still alcohol, no matter what its form.
  • It isn’t safe to drive “buzzed” even if you know the route, drive slowly and lower the window. In fact, you may just be signaling to your local police force that you’ve been drinking, should a patrol car pass you.

The wise thing to do if you’ve been drinking is to stay where you are until you sober up or find an alternative way home and come back for your car in the morning.

If you do make a mistake, however, seek immediate legal representation. You need an aggressive defense to avoid serious damage to your reputation and life from a drunk driving charge.