Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. Every year, there are over 10,000 drunk driving accidents just in New Jersey, and hundreds of fatalities from these incidents. Driving under the influence is a serious issue in our state, so DUI offenses are taken very seriously in the courtroom. A driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) has a significant impact on the penalties that they could face for drunk driving. Continue reading this blog or contact a Mercer County DUI Lawyer today to learn more about this.
WHAT IS BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION?
Blood alcohol concentration is a percentage that refers to the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream. For example, if your BAC is 0.10%, then your blood supply contains one part alcohol for every 1000 parts blood. A person’s BAC can be measured 30-70 minutes after they begin drinking. You can measure someone’s BAC with a breathalyzer, which tests a person’s saliva for blood alcohol content. You could be fined if you refuse to take a breathalyzer if a police officer suspects you of drunk driving.
WHAT IS THE BAC LIMIT FOR DUI OFFENSES IN NEW JERSEY?
New Jersey courts define a DUI offense as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. At this level of intoxication, a person can experience impairment of balance, vision, and control, which greatly impacts their ability to drive safely. You are considered legally impaired if your BAC is at least 0.08%. You could face even more severe consequences if a police officer catches you driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10% or higher. It’s important to note that in New Jersey, you can still be found guilty of a DUI even if your BAC was less than 0.08%. This is because even the smallest amount of alcohol can impair drivers.
WHAT ABOUT UNDERAGE DRIVERS?
It’s illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. So, underage drivers caught with any alcohol in their system can be charged with a DUI no matter their blood alcohol concentration. With New Jersey’s dram shop laws, the person or establishment that served the underage driver alcohol could also be held accountable if the underage driver caused a car accident while intoxicated.
Have you recently been charged with a DUI in New Jersey? You might want to speak with a dedicated criminal defense attorney who can help you determine your best options. Thankfully, the Law Office of Douglas Herring is here to fight for you! Contact our highly experienced team today for an initial consultation.