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Before you go out Drinking, Have a Plan

If you start the night off with a plan, you are more likely to end the night sleeping in your own bed instead of sleeping at the grey bar motel. Throughout the past 20 plus years I have been representing people for DUI in California, I have found that when people have a plan at the beginning of the night, their night tends to end more successfully. What does that mean to you?

Before you go out drinking, formulate an action plan for your night. Decide several things before you leave your house. First, even before you decide who is going to drive, plan on eating something. I can’t tell you how many times clients, particularly women, tell me they hadn’t eaten all day before they got arrested for DUI. I can’t tell you how many client’s, especially men, who got arrested in the wee hours of the morning on their way to or from a fast food restaurant, trying to get some food in their systems before the drive home. Eating a normal meal when you are going to be drinking can be the difference between going home after a night of drinking and spending the night in the house of many doors.

Next, plan out who is going to be driving. If you have a designated driver, make sure they actually don’t drink…at all. If you plan on driving to a location and not driving home, maybe you want to re-think your plan. Remember that alcohol impairs our judgment. If you don’t have your car in the parking lot after you’ve been drinking, you simply can’t drive it home. Another great option these days is using Uber or Lyft. They are available in a lot of cities. They are very affordable, and they are very effective. Going back to the plan, this means you have to have a phone, it has to be charged up, and you have to have the Uber and Lyft apps set up with your credit card enrolled. And, all of this has to happen before you go out.

Next, I think that any good plan requires the use of common sense. Understanding that alcohol impairs our judgment, application of a good plan may help counterbalance some of the effects of alcohol. For example, if we pace ourselves when we are drinking, this can be very helpful to both a successful evening and a more pleasant morning. Drink water between EVERY alcoholic beverage. Also, try and remember a rule that every DUI defense attorney knows:

One “drink” is A. 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor; B. One 12 ounce beer with a an alcohol level below 5%; or C. A 6 ounce glass of wine.

These rules are constantly violated both at home and away. Few people measure the alcohol they put in their drinks. How big is the wine glass you are drinking from? Are you drinking a micro-brew with an ABV of 6 or 8 or even higher? And is that beer glass 12 ounces or 16 or even 24 ounces?

Finally, I’m not saying don’t drink. What I am saying is we should all drink responsibly. Having a plan and sticking to that plan can really help avoid some major inconveniences during this holiday season. Getting arrested for DUI can be expensive, embarrassing, it can cost you your driver’s license, and maybe even worse. So remember to use your common sense before you start your evening out and save your hard earned money for Christmas presents rather than having to spend your money on lawyers and court fines.

Don’t forget, you can get a DUI if you are under the influence of drugs also, even marijuana.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI or any other driving offense call a lawyer with the ability and experience to get you the results you deserve, call me:

Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 or

Email me at: or visit my sites for more information: or

Posted in DUI