Friday, June 21, 2024

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Avoiding a DUI – Guaranteed

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Holidays are a time for family, fellowship, and festivities.  However, take precautionary measures if your holiday celebrations include alcohol. Many sober and safe ride services are available during holidays to limit the amount of intoxicated drivers and maintain safe roads.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has compiled a list of designated driver services across the country, some of which conveniently return you, and your vehicle, back home. [1]  Other services and programs offer designated drivers, scheduled pick-ups, or shuttle services at no cost or a small fee.  This is by far the best way to avoid an arrest for Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (DUI).

Currently, 622 companies operating in 45 states provide designated driver services, which generally work in one of two ways. [2]  First, the “team lift” approach has two employees arrive at your location and then one drives you home in your vehicle while the other follows in a separate vehicle.  Upon your safe arrival, they leave in their vehicle to assist the next potentially intoxicated driver. [3]  The second approach uses a small, compact scooter that allows the designated driving service’s employee to drive to your location, stow the scooter in your trunk, and then drive you home before leaving on the scooter. [4]

Commercial businesses or non-profit organizations tend to provide these services to larger metropolitan areas and the surrounding counties. [5]  Most of these services, specifically free ones, are restricted to certain holidays or limited weekend hours.  The availability of sober or safe ride services in your area may be found at the AAA DUI Justice Link or the National Directory of Designated Driver Services.  Safe, reliable transportation’s cost is negligible compared to that of a DUI arrest and its associated costs.  Do not let the stress, expense, and risk of a DUI ruin your holiday spirit.  Use a designated driver service. If similar services are not available in your area, designate a sober driver to return you home safely.  Celebrate responsibly this holiday season.

About the Author: Steven Oberman has been licensed in Tennessee since 1980, and successfully defended over 2,000 DUI defendants.  Among the many honors bestowed upon him, Steve served as Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. and currently serves as chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers DUI Committee.  Steve was the first lawyer in Tennessee to be certified as a DUI Defense Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense.

He is the author of DUI: The Crimes & Consequences in Tennessee, updated annually since 1991 (Thomson-West), and co-author with Lawrence Taylor of the national treatise, Drunk Driving Defense, 7th edition (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen).  Steve has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee Law School since 1993 and has received a number of prestigious awards for his faculty contributions.  He is a popular international speaker, having spoken at legal seminars in 23 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries.

You may contact Steve through his website at or by telephone at (865) 249-7200.

The author would also like to recognize and thank Matt Wayne, a second year law student at the University of Tennessee College of Law, for his research and editing contributions to this article.

[1] Sober Ride, DUI Justice Link,

[2] National Directory of Designated Driver Services,,

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

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Steve Oberman

Steve Oberman

Since graduating from the University of Tennessee Law School in 1980, Mr. Oberman has become established as a national authority on the intricacies of DUI defense law. Steve is a former Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, co-author of a national treatise ("Drunk Driving Defense" published by Aspen/Wolters-Kluwer), and author of "DUI: The Crime and Consequences in Tennessee" (published by Thomson-Reuters/West). He has taught thousands of lawyers, judges, and members of the general public about the intricacies of this crime. Steve was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach American Criminal Law and American Trial Advocacy at the University of Latvia School of Law in 2019; in 2023 taught for a semester as a visiting professor at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) Faculty of Law in Budapest, Hungary; and as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Law in 2024. Steve has also presented at a number of judicial conferences in the United States and Canada as well as for law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Czech Republic Police Academy. As a Tennessee DUI attorney, Mr. Oberman has successfully defended over two thousand clients charged with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In 2006, Mr. Oberman became the first DUI lawyer in Tennessee to be recognized by the National College for DUI Defense as a Board Certified Specialist in the area of DUI Defense law.

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