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How to pick a designated driver

Like most of your neighbors in St. Louis, you work hard every day. When the daily grind becomes a bit too hard to take, you want to hit the town with your friends to blow off some steam. As you know, though, few things can destroy an otherwise fun evening faster than a DWI. After all, fighting a DWI charge can be both stressful and challenging. 

The best way to avoid a DWI is never to drink and drive. You do not have to curb your entertainment options, though. By picking a designated driver before you imbibe, you know you have a safe and legal ride home. Not everyone makes a good designated driver, however. Here are four steps for picking one.

1. Ask about driving history 

You do not want to ride with a driver who does not have a license. That is, if the designated driver you choose has a suspended or revoked license, you may be asking for trouble. Therefore, talk about driving history before choosing your designated driver. Remember, permit holders need a responsible adult in the car to comply with Missouri law. As such, it is best not to ask young drivers to serve as designated ones. 

2. Be fair 

If all your friends enjoy consuming alcohol, you want to be fair when selecting a designated driver. Try to rotate responsibilities. Or, choose the designated driver randomly by drawing names from a hat. By sharing driving responsibilities, you ensure that everyone has a good time while staying safe. 

3. Count your friends 

As a diligent individual, you must be responsible for yourself. As a good person, though, you want to be sure your friends all arrive home safely. When you are planning your night on the town, count your friends. Then, be sure all designated drivers have vehicles with enough seatbelts to safely transport everyone in your group. 

4. Think about responsibility 

Drinking cola while everyone else is having a cocktail can be challenging. Still, designated drivers are only valuable if they can abstain from alcohol for the entire evening. When you are selecting a designated driver, you must think about responsibility. If you have a friend who cannot turn down a drink, you probably should not ask him or her to be the designated driver. 

You do not have to avoid fun evenings to steer clear of a DWI. With a designated driver, you increase the chances that you and your friends stay safe and out of trouble. With a bit of planning, you can likely find the perfect designated driver for your next night on the town.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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