A criminal conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be devastating. If a judge finds you guilty of drunk driving, you will face hefty fines, imprisonment and a driver license suspension. This is not even to mention how a criminal record can impact your reputation and employment opportunities.

Thankfully, it is possible to prevent drunk driving charges, both before and after an arrest. Here are some suggestions for avoiding a DUI conviction.

  1. Choose a designated driver

If you plan on drinking somewhere and need to get back home, it is wise to select a designated driver you can trust not to drink. This individual should understand the responsibility of remaining sober. Make sure your designated driver has your address and emergency contact information.

  1. Use other forms of transportation

You can get home safely even if you do not have a designated driver. Consider your public transportation options, such as the bus or train. You can also use a ridesharing service such as Uber or Lyft or call a taxi.

  1. Stay the night

Sometimes, it is best to not even worry about any form of transportation right away, especially if you will be a considerable distance from home. You may simply want to sleep over at the party or book a hotel and get home safely the next day.

  1. Consume food with your drinks

Food may help slow the absorption of alcohol. Filling up on dinner before drinking or eating starchy foods throughout the night can help you from getting impaired.

  1. Defend against charges

You can still prevent a conviction even after police arrest you. There are many possible strategies for challenging drunk driving charges. For example, you may be able to call the validity of field sobriety tests into question. Even if you are not able to completely avoid criminal charges altogether, you may be able to get away with a lesser charge, such as reckless driving.