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Don't let the holiday season celebrations get out of hand

The holiday season always means there are lots of opportunities to overdo it with alcohol. From work-related seasonal parties to being invited over to your friends for a small get-together or to watch a bowl game, to family dinners or going out for a big celebration on New Year's Eve, it is easy to let one drink lead to another until you see flashing red lights in your rear-view mirror and are spending some time discussing your driving abilities with a Michigan State Police trooper.

So it is important to plan ahead if you believe may want to enjoy alcoholic beverages to the point where your driving would be impaired. Remember, the legal limit for alcohol in Michigan is 0.08 blood alcohol concentration, and depending on your weight, you may reach that limit faster than you might guess.

Have designated driver, or better, take a cab. Studies have found that designated drivers often succumb to the attraction of having "just one drink," and they too can become too intoxicated to drive.

With a cab, you know the driver is sober and no matter how expensive the fare, it will be far less that just the fines that accompany most DUI tickets. If you do overindulge, and wind up speaking with that Michigan State trooper regarding your BAC in excess of 0.17, your DUI is now a felony, and you could spend up to half a year in jail and up to a $700 fine. Worse, if you injure someone and are drunk, you would be looking at five years in jail and a felony conviction.

If an injured person should die, you could receive up to 15 years in prison, forfeit your vehicle and be fined up to $10,000. You also could be the subject of a civil wrongful death lawsuit.

So save yourself the grief and expense and take a cab or Uber or sleep at your friends or families home. That way, a painful hangover will be the most serious consequence of your drinking.


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