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Celebrate The Holidays Safely

Farmers Agent

A designated driver should be part of this season's planning process for festivities that include alcohol. One attorney's advice is to arrange for that driver well before he or she is needed.

In a new survey by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 72 percent of people who've used a designated driver said they did it to avoid getting a DUI, and Omar Nur says that's good thinking.

The defense attorney says the price tag for getting through the court process for a DUI can easily top several thousand dollars.

"That's the number one thing about a DUI is, it's not cheap, and it's a huge hassle,” he points out. “You know, it's just not worth it. You're gambling with your own safety, you're gambling with the safety of others – and you're risking your personal freedom, too."

In addition to attorneys' fees, Nur says there are several types of court fees, the cost of a mandatory ignition-interlock device, higher insurance rates and more.

He adds that most people who come to his office with a DUI charge are shocked – not only by the financial and long-term legal consequences, but by being pulled over in the first place.

"Many of my clients come in and they say, I only had three drinks,’” he relates. “’It was four or five hours – I thought I was just fine.’ And then they get pulled over, and they get arrested. You just really never know when you're too drunk to drive."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 1,091 people lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day in 2012.

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