St. Patrick’s Day is associated with an increase in drunk driving crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 60 people were killed in drunk driving crashes during the 2016 holiday period between March 16 to March 18. The NHTSA advises everyone to make plans to get home safely before they participate in holiday festivities.
Dangers of Drunk Driving
Driving under the effects of alcohol or drugs can lead to catastrophic car accidents and injuries. Approximately one-third of all crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers. Even before the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) is reached, drivers’ abilities are impaired. At just .02 percent, there is a decline in visual functions and a decline in the ability to divide attention. By the time a driver’s BAC is at .08 percent, they have reduced muscle coordination, impaired judgment, difficulty concentrating, short-term memory loss, and reduced information processing capability.
The NHTSA reports that each day, nearly 30 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes, totaling more than 10,000 fatalities per year. Some common serious injuries include traumatic brain injuries, burns, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs, and disfigurements.
New Jersey DUI Law
In New Jersey, as in all states, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated. If an officer suspects that a driver is under the influence of alcohol, the driver may have to perform a breathalyzer test to determine their BAC level. Drivers are legally required to consent to such tests and refusing a breathalyzer carries penalties, such as fines, fees, and loss of driving privileges.
However, New Jersey drivers who fail a breathalyzer test may be able to avoid a driving while under the influence (DUI) charge by:
- Contesting the validity of a field sobriety test or the accuracy of a blood test.
- Arguing that the police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull them over or probable cause to believe they were intoxicated.
- Showing that the officer failed to read the Implied Consent Warning prior to conducting the breathalyzer test.
- Showing that the officer did not keep them under observation for 20 minutes before conducting a breath test
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Safely
This St. Patrick’s Day, New Jersey drivers can avoid getting arrested for a DUI by taking certain precautions. Here are some safety tips:
- Plan for how you will get home, do not wait until you are already drinking.
- Add contact information for car services or ridesharing apps into your phone.
- Identify a designated driver.
- Make a back-up plan for a sober ride home.
Haddonfield DUI Lawyers at Agre & St. John Defend Those Arrested for Drunk Driving
If you were arrested or charged with a DUI, contact one of our experienced lawyers today. Our skilled Haddonfield DUI lawyers at Agre & St. John will work diligently to ensure that your rights are protected that you will obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us online or call us at 856-428-7797 to schedule a confidential consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we also serve clients in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County, and throughout the South Jersey area.