New Year's is one of the most exciting times in the year. This is especially true after such a rough year that we had in 2016. Many people throughout Maine will be eager to blow off some steam and bring 2017 in with a bang.
However, police know that this means that there will be a lot of people on the road who are in no condition to drive. You can count on the Maine State Police running several checkpoints throughout the state, particularly in the south around the city of Portland, where many of the festivities will be centered. Additionally, I-95 and other major thoroughfares are sure to have saturation patrols – police cruisers whose only worry is catching drunk drivers – up and down the state.
Because of the increased patrols, it becomes especially important to be careful before getting behind the wheel after having a drink or two. Here are ways to enjoy New Year's without starting 2017 in the back of a police cruiser, facing a charge for operating under the influence (OUI).
Use a Designated Driver
One of the easiest ways to make sure everything stays safe after the party is to designate someone to be the driver after celebrating the New Year. If you and your friends all go to a party in one car and leave your keys with your driver, you won't have to worry about how you're all getting home safely.
Get a Cab
If you're celebrating the New Year's in an urban area, it shouldn't be too difficult to get a taxi to bring you home after a night of celebrating. While they can be expensive, if you and several others are all going to the same place after the celebrations then you can split the cost.
Use a Rideshare
Uber is available throughout the state of Maine, allowing you to use the smartphone app to hail rides from wherever you are. Additionally, Lyft operated in Freeport and Portland, giving you a choice if you're celebrating New Year's in one of those cities.
While Maine does not have enough densely populated areas to make buses ubiquitous, there are still several public transportation options throughout the state. Depending on where you are and where you need to go, these buses could be a cheap and dependable way of getting home safely.
Another way to make sure you don't get pulled over, arrested, and charged for OUI after a New Year's party is to stay overnight. If you can't stay with friends and don't want to spend the night in a hotel, some rooms are available on AirBnB with a last-minute reservation that can let you spend the night, sober up, and drive home safely the next morning.
Maine OUI-Defense Attorney William T. Bly
New Year's is a fun holiday that has a lot of symbolism. Starting off 2017 on the right foot is important. Don't make a mistake and burden yourself with an OUI charge on the first day of the new year. These charges can lead to severe penalties that can haunt you for years to come.