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The holidays are a fun time for everyone. But one bad decision can lead to serious consequences. Whether you’re attending or hosting a party, there are some common sense steps you can take to help everyone stay safe and avoid DUI charges.

If you’re attending a party…

Everyone wants to enjoy themselves at a party, especially for Christmas and New Year’s. But you can have a good time without taking it too far. .

  • Limit yourself. In South Carolina, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level that’s above .08. It takes fewer drinks than you think to reach this level of intoxication.
  • Pace yourself. The faster you drink, the faster you’ll become intoxicated. Pace yourself throughout the evening and stop drinking alcoholic beverages at least an hour before you have to drive home.
  • Get a designated driver. This is the safest option for you and everyone on the roads. Find someone who will stay sober throughout the evening and drive you from the party.

If you’re hosting a party…

Hosting a holiday party is a lot of fun but it also comes with a responsibility. For your guests’ safety (and that of everyone on the roads), you must make sure that your guests are in good condition to drive after they leave your event. Here are a few tips to make sure everyone has only good memories of your party.

  • Monitor consumption. Help your friends avoid a potential DUI charge by making sure they aren’t overserved.
  • Make sure you serve enough food. Provide a variety of foods so that your guests can have a full stomach throughout the party.
  • Offer nonalcoholic options. Look for recipes for festive mocktails that designated drivers—and all of your guests—can enjoy.
  • Collect keys. Set up a basket for your guests’ keys. Ask them to check in with you before they leave the party so you can assess their condition.

If you should happen to get pulled over for an alcohol violation, you’ll need a good lawyer to help you with your case. Charlie Burnette of Burnette & Payne is a criminal defense attorney who handles DUI cases, open container charges, and other crimes involving alcohol. Call our office at (803) 328-1800 to schedule a consultation.