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Why happy hour specials can lead to drunk driving charges

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | DUI Defense

Certain decisions that people make can increase their likelihood of facing criminal charges. For example, those who frequently drink in social environments may be more at risk of drunk driving charges than those who rarely consume alcohol.

Many restaurants and bars offer discounted drinks in the mid-afternoon as a way to boost weekday sales. First-shift professionals who occasionally take advantage of happy hour specials might have reason for concern after stopping for a drink some weeknight. They might end up arrested if they get stopped after leaving.

There may be more enforcement efforts

According to research by the National Safety Council, the afternoon rush hour is statistically one of the most dangerous times of day to drive. The only time that sees more crashes is nighttime. More collision risk and heavier traffic levels might mean that someone who has had a few drinks is at substantially higher risk of crossing paths with police officers. Police officers may pull over anyone who shows minor signs of impaired ability.

There may be factors that enhance impairment

Happy hour specials can seem particularly tempting to someone who has had a rough day at work. A recent project deadline that forced a professional to work through their lunch hour might be what inspires them to stop for an afternoon cocktail.

However, drinking on an empty stomach can be very dangerous. So is drinking quickly to get home in time for dinner. Additionally, the specials that tempt people into stopping off for happy hour might motivate them to try completely new restaurants or bars. The bartender there might be a bit more generous with their pours, especially when trying to establish a rapport with a new customer. The result could be that someone who tries to count the drinks they consume could have more alcohol in their system than they estimate.

Those arrested while heading home after happy hour could face drunk driving charges that cost them their license or saddle them with a permanent criminal record. Understanding the factors that increase drunk driving arrest risk can help motorists both avoid criminal charges and more effectively respond to them if they do get arrested.

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