The 4th of July is an annual celebration of nationhood and is the height of summer party season in Palm Beach County. It's a time for family gatherings, parties, barbeques, Florida's beautiful beaches, and many other festivities that involve consuming alcohol. With most of South Florida returning to normal as nearly half the state is now vaccinated against COVID-19, it can be expected that the rapidly approaching 4th of July weekend will come with ample DUI arrests. Nobody wants to spend 'Independence' Day behind bars. If you or a loved one gets arrested on the 4th of July for driving intoxicated, a West Palm Beach DUI lawyer can help.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, in July more people are in drunk driving accidents involving fatalities than any other month. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety says that the 4th of July is also the most dangerous day to drive. It is imperative to expect plenty of additional DUI checkpoints on the 4th of July.
Tips to Follow to Avoid a DUI Arrest This 4th of July Weekend
Below are crucial tips that can help you avoid spending the weekend in jail this 4th of July.
- Plan your ride. If limiting your alcohol intake or skipping out on alcohol altogether isn't a possibility, planning your ride ahead of the party can prevent spending the weekend in jail. Ask a friend or family member who is not drinking or staying home for a ride. Alternatively, a rideshare app such as Uber or Lyft will always be on standby to pick you up round-the-clock.
- Get a hotel room. If your 4th of July weekend involves bar-hopping or pub-crawling, why not plan to stay at a hotel? Book a hotel room within walking distance of your holiday festivities and make a night of it.
- Host a party. Although a little messy, why not be the host of a 4th of July party? If a holiday party is at your home, the good news is you're only steps away from a safe, arrest-free night of sleep.
- Do not drink if you are under 21. Underage drinking has become a serious public health problem in the United States. In Florida, it is illegal to possess or consume any alcoholic beverage under the age of 21. Here a few tips for parents to prevent their teens from becoming drunk drivers on July 4th.
Other Common 4th of July Criminal Offenses
Another common 4th of July arrest is disorderly intoxication. While having a few drinks to celebrate the holiday is okay, it is a misdemeanor under Florida law to be intoxicated and endanger the safety of another person or their property. This rule also applies to those who are arrested for drinking in a public space causing a "disturbance."
Driving drunk isn't the only criminal offense on the 4th of July involving transportation. Especially in South Florida, boating under the influence (BUI) is a serious charge. While a first-time BUI is only a misdemeanor, a third BUI charge is a felony. BUI is different from DUI as the Florida definition of 'operate' slightly varies. In Florida, you can be arrested for BUI even if you are not the one in command of the vessel.
If you or a loved one gets arrested on 4th of July weekend for BUI, a Palm Beach County BUI lawyer can help. The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky provides defense for a number of BUI cases every year.
Lawyer for DUI Diversion Programs
A diversion program allows DUI offenders to enter rehabilitation to avoid serious criminal penalties relating to their DUI arrest. Are you eligible for the Palm Beach County DUI diversion program? For non-aggravated first-time DUI arrests, a DUI diversion program may be right for you. When it comes to making a decision whether or not you are going to complete the program, our experienced criminal defense attorney can give you the answers you need today. While you may be eligible for the program, there may be reasons why you may not want to accept it such as our office being able to get your DUI case dismissed or found not guilty.
What to Do After a DUI Arrest in Florida
If you've been arrested for DUI, contact us immediately at (561) 671-5995 or by clicking here and our experienced Palm Beach criminal defense attorney will provide the help you need. You can also download our free guide 'What You Must Know About Your DUI Case Before You Do Anything'.