Many people like to go out on St. Patrick's Day and have a good time. For some, it is a celebration of their Irish heritage. Others like to tag along with friends and simply enjoy the festivities of the day. Unlike other holidays, drinking alcohol is closely tied to those celebrations and festivities. If you are over the age of 21, you are free to enjoy the green beer and exciting bar atmospheres of the day.
Like any other day, responsibility while drinking must be a priority. The laws that outline inebriated behavior do not change just because it is a holiday. Many people choose to go to places like Belmar, Seaside Heights or Asbury Park on St. Patty's to celebrate with a big crowd. If they choose to drive, they may end up behind the wheel of a vehicle after having something to drink. It cannot be stressed enough how dangerous driving under the influence is. According to the NHTSA, St. Patrick's Day crashes between 2009 and 2013, caused the lives of 276 people due to drunk driving crashes. That means an average of 55 people die every March 17th because they chose to get behind the wheel and drive drunk. Law enforcement is aware of how many tragedies occur and are constantly increasing efforts to prevent drunk driving. If a police officer was to catch you driving intoxicated, the consequences are severe.
DWI Laws in New Jersey N.J.S.A. 39:4-50
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission tells us anyone operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08% is considered to be driving under the influence – N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a)(1). If you are caught with a BAC above 0.08%, and this is your first DWI offense, be prepared to pay a steep financial price. Penalties include loss of license, fines, surcharges, 12-48 hours of classes at the intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC) and Ignition Interlock Device.
With so much at stake, one might ask why anyone would choose to get behind the wheel after drinking. Especially when it is easy to avoid all of the aforementioned fines and penalties. The first thing you can do is find a local event that will suit your needs for St. Patty's. By staying local you may be able to walk to wherever the festivities are and avoid a car altogether. If you decide to go somewhere that requires driving, call a cab or car service. With companies like Uber and Lyft becoming more popular, finding someone to take you somewhere has almost become effortless. If you choose to go out, have a designated driver or take public transportation. No matter what you decide, making the decision not to drink and drive on St. Patrick's Day is an easy one.
Hire An Experienced DWI Attorney
If you have been charged with drunk driving in or around Monmouth County or Ocean County, New Jersey make sure you contact an experienced DUI Lawyer like those at Villani . You could be facing serious penalties and a loss of your driving privileges. To discuss your options call 732-965-3999 today!