As the nation prepares to celebrate Fourth of July, San Diego residents and tourists alike are trying to find ways to make the most of their holiday. The city will have no shortage of beachgoers, grillers and sightseers, but many will take advantage of the city’s nightlife and bar culture as well.
Last year, police operating DUI checkpoints across San Diego County arrested more than 100 people during Fourth of July weekend, and detained many more for “further evaluation of their sobriety.” Several of them had their vehicles impounded and faced steep fines and possible jail time for driving impaired. Responsible motorists would like to know: If I want to celebrate on the Fourth of July, how do I avoid a DUI?
Your best option is to plan ahead. Know where you want to go and what options you have for getting back home without a car. Many restaurants and shops downtown are located within easy walking distance from one another. If you want to drink, you can arrange for a sober friend to pick you up or call a cab.
How to Avoid a DUI on the Fourth of July
If cabs and pedicabs are too expensive, the city offers several public transportation options that can make your commute a lot safer:
Trolley – The red trolley can get you to Old Town, the outer boundaries of downtown, Petco Park, Tijuana, San Diego State University and other popular destinations. They have even expanded their hours on Fourth of July, so they will be running at least one hour after the fireworks end.
Cost: $3.00 one-way/$5.00 one-day
Bus – Bus service connects locations throughout the city, and our friendly bus drivers can help you figure out connections and schedules.
Cost: $2.25 one-way/$5.00 one-day
** Note: Buses and trolleys will be running on a Saturday schedule for the Fourth of July, excluding expanded service.
Coaster – A commuter train that stops in beach cities, the Coaster is a great way to plan day trips without renting a car. The train links communities from Oceanside to San Diego, stopping at several popular beach locations. Prices vary based on distance traveled.
Cost: $4.00-$5.50 one-way
The “Summer Nite” Coaster – A late night version of the Coaster that stops at the San Diego County Fair, the Gaslamp Quarter and the Big Bay Boom Fourth of July festival.
Amtrak – The nationwide rail system has three stations in San Diego, and you can relax – and even drink – while you travel. The two-hour trip to Los Angeles is free of traffic, stress and DUI checkpoints. Cost: Varies based on destination
For those who are not a fan of public transit, there will be taxis and pedicabs ready and willing to transport you anywhere you want to go. They can be more convenient – but also more expensive – than public transportation.
Traveling safely on the Fourth of July may cost you, but consider that a DUI could cost you $10,000 once you factor in bail, towing costs, fines and attorney fees. Insurance companies often choose to increase rates after a DUI arrest, meaning that you could be paying for your mistakes for years to come.
Remember that when you decide to drive drunk, you endanger the health and safety of everyone around you. Every year, millions of Americans are injured in alcohol-related car accidents.
If you are one of those victims, call Bonnici Law Group to discuss your case. Your first consultation is free and with your help we can keep the roads safe all year round.
[Did You Know: The California Highway Patrol arrested 1,431 suspected DUI drivers statewide last Fourth of July.]
Bonnici Law Group, APC – San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys