Massachusetts Legal Blog
Holiday Safety Tips for New Year’s in Massachusetts
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately one out of every three traffic-related fatalities involves a drunk driver. Massachusetts allows for sobriety checkpoints that will likely be significantly deployed over this holiday season. Research clearly indicates that the incidents of Operating Under the Influence (OUI) occur at a notably higher rate during the periods of Christmas and particularly New Year’s. Let’s take a look at what constitutes an OUI, and overall tips for staying safe while celebrating the New Year.
It is critical to remember to “think before you drink.” Familiarize yourself with your surroundings and establish a plan that is geared toward getting to your destination(s) safely. Keep in mind that you should not rely solely on taxis or Uber/Lyft-type services because they may be overwhelmed, particularly on New Year’s Eve. Be sure to have you cell phone fully charged in case of any emergency situations.
Establishing a sober driver ahead of time to insure you make it home safely. Make sure that the designated driver is aware of how late you anticipate celebrating. Avoid traveling long distances, particularly during New Year’s Eve, where potential winter road conditions can further make the roadways potentially dangerous.
How Much is Too Much?
The legal limit for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol is based on your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). The state established standard thresholds in concert with the federal level at .08 or greater for those 21 and older and at .02 or greater for those less than 21 years of age. There is a nifty calculator on Insure.com that roughly estimates your BAC. Here are some estimates:
- A 140 lb. female having (3) drinks in (2) hours is approximately at .07
- A 150 lb. female having (4) drinks in (4) hours is approximately at .07
- A 200lb. male having (3) drinks in (2) hours is approximately at .04
Keep in mind that these are just estimates and that a host of other factors can impact your actual levels.
If Hosting a Party
When you are having guests over for a New Year’s Eve celebration, be aware of their safety. If you have a guest that has had too much to drink, make other arrangements. If serving alcohol, be sure to have some food on hand. Offer guests the option of staying over so they can safely drive home then next morning. Don’t hesitate to take an intoxicated guest’s keys—it’s the responsible thing to do.
Massachusetts is a state that maintains some of the most aggressive penalties for those convicted of OUI. If you are facing an OUI charge, you need experienced legal representation to defend these charges. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C. we have been defending those faced with potentially life-altering ramifications in OUI convictions. To insure that you rights are protected, do not delay in calling (978) 327-5140 to speak with a defense attorney.
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