It’s May 5th and the margaritas are calling.

Cinco de Mayo is the yearly celebration that commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire in 1862. In the U.S., the day is associated with celebration of the Mexican-American culture, and is one that includes, you guessed it, alcohol.

Just like every other holiday, police in Texas are on the lookout for persons that are driving while intoxicated (DWI). So, if you’re planning to fiesta the night away, it’s important to know how to avoid a DWI charge. Below are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Order those Nachos

If there’s ever an excuse to load up on carbs, it’s a night where you plan to drink. Although everyone absorbs alcohol at different rates, eating plays a large role in how your body handles alcohol. Food prevents alcohol from passing quickly into your small intestine, which is the organ responsible for absorbing alcohol. Thus, when there is food in your stomach, alcohol is absorbed more slowly. As a result, alcohol’s intoxicating* effects are not immediate and you’ll be able to keep your wits about you.

2. Skip the Shots

Tequila shots may be fun, but they’re a surefire way to quickly increase your blood alcohol content. A serving of alcohol takes approximately 30 minutes to two hours to be fully absorbed into the bloodstream. If you’re pounding down drinks, intoxication will eventually hit you like a brick wall. Instead, sip on your drink and let an adequate amount of time pass before ordering another.

3. Drive Smart

If you’ve been drinking, you probably shouldn’t be driving. However, if you find yourself this situation, be smart about it. This means that you must be cognizant about following all traffic laws. Moreover, do not drive if your vehicle has a tail light that is out or an expired registration sticker. You will get pulled over, and when you do, the odor of alcohol on your breath could be enough for a DWI arrest.

4. Refuse Field Sobriety Tests

If you’ve been pulled over and are suspected of DWI, the most important thing you can do is keep quiet. Politely decline to answer the officer’s questions concerning what you had to drink and where you were coming from. Further, refuse to perform the standard field sobriety tests if asked (SFSTs). You do not need to provide an officer with additional reasons to arrest you.  

5. Find a Ride

Don’t let a fun night out turn into a life altering event. Whether you’ve had one drink or ten, the best way to avoid a DWI is to call an Uber or rideshare.

Despite these precautions, we know that things happen. If you’ve been arrested for a DWI, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call my office if you have any questions about your case.

*Intoxication means the loss of normal use of one’s mental or physical faculties. See Tex. Penal Code Section 49.01.

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