New Year's Eve is one of the most popular holidays for people to indulge in an alcoholic beverage. It's also a day where police see many OWIs.
It's tempting to get in your car and drive home from a small New Year's Eve gathering or a party just down the street, but officials say if you plan on consuming any alcohol tonight, also plan for a safe ride home.
"A designated driver is the safest route. I wouldn't even...there's so many factors. Even if you drink one beer or two beers and you don't eat, it could have a different effect than if you drink the same amount of beers and you do eat," explained Sgt. Wayne Griffin, Public Information Officer for the Lafayette Police Department.
If you do drink and get behind the wheel, the consequences for an OWI are no joke.
"The first thing that you need to expect is that you're going to be arrested and taken to jail," Jordan Precht, a criminal defense attorney with Precht Law Firm said.
That's only the start of it.
Precht continued,"Their license is surrendered and their license will be suspended, during which time we can get a hardship license. It does cost money. You'll need high risk insurance called SR 22. You may also need a breath ignition interlock, which is the blowing device in your car."
At the end of the day, Precht said, one OWI can cost an individual up to $10,000.
Lafayette Police says there are so many alternatives to making this expensive mistake, even if you can't crash at the place where you're partying.
"Get an Uber, get a taxi," added Sgt. Griffin. "There's so many other alternatives to you getting behind the wheel."
Right now is the time - make your plan for getting to and from your celebration destination, then all there's left to do is ring in the new year.
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