After a long winter of lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing, summer 2021 is shaping up to be one of the wildest of all time. Bars, patios, parks, and beaches are filled with people kicking back with their friends and family, and in Ontario and across Canada, people are gathering for backyard barbecues and informal parties.
Naturally, many of these social activities involve a fair bit of drinking. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few cold ones, nothing will ruin your summer (and the rest of your year) faster than a DUI.
Driving while intoxicated is a perennial issue in Ontario, but people need to be particularly vigilant this summer. It’s easy to get carried away when hanging out with friends you haven’t seen in over a year, and if you haven’t been drinking much through the pandemic, your tolerance may be lower.
If you want to enjoy the summer responsibly, here are three steps you should take to avoid falling afoul of Ontario DUI laws.
1. Always Plan Ahead
There has always been something wonderfully free about summer get-togethers. An afternoon at the beach becomes dinner at a restaurant and drinks at local bar after, and what started out as a short hang-out turns into an entire day spent with your favorite people.
It is important to take this into account when planning for how you’ll get home. Being realistic about how much drinking you’re likely to do and knowing what your best transit options are means you’ll never be in the awkward position of having to leave your car somewhere because you’re in no state to drive home.
2. Always Have a Backup Plan
We’ve all been there: you go out, not planning to drink too much, but a glass of wine at dinner turns into a cocktail on the patio and before you know it, you’re not feeling too steady on your feet.
Even if you have made a plan not to have more than one drink, it’s important to always have a backup plan. This could involve coordinating with a friend or partner who doesn’t drink, or it could mean knowing what public transportation routes will get you home.
It can feel silly to end up calling a cab after you’ve driven to someone’s home or to a restaurant, but you’ll feel a lot sillier if you fail a breathalyzer test and end up spending the night in jail.
3. Hire a Toronto DUI Lawyer if You are Facing Charges
Sometimes all the planning in the world won’t help you make a smart decision at the end of the night, and if do end up driving over the legal limit, it is important to understand the legal ramifications. In addition to facing a license suspension and a hefty fine, you could also be looking at jail time.
The penalties for DUI in Ontario are serious, and if you want to protect yourself you need a criminal defence lawyer who understands how Ontario DUI charges in Ontario work. Just because you’ve been caught driving over 80 does not necessarily mean you will be charged, so get in touch with a Toronto DUI lawyer to explore your defence options.
As Ontario enters its second phase of opening up, many Ontarians are eager to get out there and enjoy all the social activities that have been denied them for the past year. But no vaccine will protect you against DUI charges, so make sure to follow these three steps if you want to enjoy a safe and DUI-free summer.