Happy hour can have a great non-monetary value for employers and individuals. You get some stress relief, develop some camaraderie, and brainstorm. Alcohol tends to facilitate those things. Alcohol also facilitates DWI charges. Here are a few things I hear time and again from clients charged with driving while intoxicated:
1. I did not eat anything (or enough) during the day.
2. I did not eat anything while I was at happy hour.
3. I did not drink enough water during the day before going out.
Other than the above, the stories vary, but inevitably the above elements are part of the equation. I'm not a physiologist to explain why, but the why is less important than the what in this case.
The costs of a DWI are real and pretty much in line with the commercials on TV and the radio. Plan on a DWI costing $6,000-$8,000 in out of pocket expenses. You can also add in whatever your time is in attending a MADD panel, a drug & alcohol assessment, 2-4 court appearances at about 2 hours per appearance, and your time dwelling on your mistakes.
Stuff happens, but perhaps keeping the above in mind will keep less stuff from happening. Please be safe and don't be afraid to have a non-alcoholic drink at happy hour.
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