Millions of people each year in the United States celebrate Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, according to WalletHub, 57 percent of adults in the United States plan to celebrate the holiday.
Pub crawls and other alcohol-related events are very popular on St. Patrick’s Day. The combination of an unofficial national drinking holiday and the near-arrival of spring causes many people to gather together to celebrate.
This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Thursday, and more than likely, people will celebrate the holiday all week and even throughout the weekend. That means more car accidents and DUI offenses. WalletHub reports that about 62 percent of fatal St. Patrick’s Day car accidents involve a drunk driver.
New Jersey police forces will be fully staffed and looking for drunk drivers on St. Patrick’s Day. Offenders who are caught will face stiff penalties. It is important to celebrate the holiday responsibly and safely.
If drinking is in your plans for St. Patrick’s Day, some simple precautions could help you avoid a DUI charge. The most obvious is to celebrate at home and avoid driving altogether.
If a pub crawl with friends is on the agenda, you need to have a designated driver who stays sober throughout the night. Otherwise, you should use a taxi or rideshare service to get home safely. Public transportation is also widely available in most places.
The best way to prevent a DUI charge is to avoid drinking and driving. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving.
Possible Penalties for a DUI Charge
A DUI conviction carries many strict penalties in New Jersey. A driver over 21 years old who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeding 0.08 percent will face a DUI charge.
If it is a first offense and the driver tests between 0.08 and 0.10 percent, the offender could lose driving privileges for three months, and they could pay between $250 and $400 in fines and be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail.
The offending motorist must successfully complete a New Jersey Intoxicated Driving Program to regain driving privileges. The motorist also could pay a $1,000 auto insurance surcharge for three years.
A first-time offender whose BAC level exceeds 0.10 percent can lose driving privileges for up to a year, pay up to $500 in fines, and face up to 30 days in jail. Conditions to regain driving privileges are the same for all first-time offenders.
Additional offenses carry more severe penalties.
South Jersey DUI Lawyers at Agre & St. John Help Clients Defend Against a DUI Charge on St. Patrick’s Day
This St. Patrick’s Day, celebrate the holiday responsibly, which means no drinking and driving. If you have a DUI charge, our South Jersey DUI lawyers at Agre & St. John can help safeguard your rights and build the strongest possible legal defense. Call us at 856-428-7797 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.