Staying Safe During the Holidays

Facts and Fictions About Drinking This Season


The holidays are fast approaching and there are a number of myths about drinking that need to be debunked before the season is in full swing. It is important to note the chances of being involved in a traffic accident with a drunk driver increase during the holidays. To keep yourself and others safe, you should always drive sober and reduce distractions. 

Here are a few facts and fictions about drinking during the holidays:

1. You Can’t Get a DUI If Your BAC Is Under .08%

It is 100% untrue that you cannot be charged with driving under the influence if you have a blood alcohol level under .08%. Under California law, you can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol regardless of your actual blood alcohol level. An officer must only observe that you were impaired. Impairment is presumed when you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher.

Additionally, you can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Drugs is not exclusive to illegal drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, or heroin. You can get a drug-related DUI for driving under the influence of any substance that impairs your ability to drive including prescription and over-the-counter medications. 

2. There Are Fewer People on the Roads

Some people wrongly assume that there are fewer people on the roads during the holiday season. In fact, there are more people traveling from place to place around Thanksgiving and Christmas. More people on the road means more of a risk for a dangerous collision. 

In order to avoid disaster, remember to take your time. Slow down on the roads and be aware that there could be people who are driving under the influence. Avoid driving late at night if at all possible and plan ahead for a designated sober driver.

3. Drinking Alcohol Will Keep You Warm

One of the biggest misconceptions is that alcohol will keep you warm. The headlines are filled with heartbreaking stories of young college students who end up dying from hypothermia because they fell asleep outside during the winter after a night of heavy drinking. 

While hypothermia is not as much of a risk in Southern California, it is still important to remember that alcohol does not warm your body, it fools your brain into believing that you are warmer than you actually are.