Drunk driving continues to be the reason for many fatal accidents in New Jersey and around the country. Persons dealing with substance abuse issues might not exercise proper judgment, choosing to get behind the wheel of their car while intoxicated. Of course, even those who only make a one-time mistake might cause a DUI-related accident. Criminal charges may follow, even when an accident doesn’t occur.
Drunk driving statistics reveal dangers on the roads. In 2020, persons under the influence of alcohol contributed to 30% of all traffic fatalities. While drunk driving fatalities have decreased by 45% since 1982, the 30% figure shows dangers still persist.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 11,654 fatal drunk driving crashes in that year involved drivers with a BAC higher than the legal limit. That said, having a BAC lower than .08% does not mean someone isn’t impaired. One drink alone might hamper safe driving skills.
Anyone arrested for impaired driving could face multiple charges. The stop could lead to charges related to drug possession or weapons violations. Fatal collisions may involve charges of vehicular manslaughter, meaning the defendant might face serious jail time.
Those pulled over for a moving violation may take a Breathalyzer test and fail. The individual might only deal with DUI charges, but there could be a ripple effect upon conviction. Namely, a permanent criminal record for drunk driving might haunt someone for years.
Defending drunk driving charges could take many forms. Any procured evidence might be inadmissible if the police performed an illegal traffic stop. Improper testing procedures or faulty Breathalyzers could render evidence useless.