Drunk Driving Accidents in New Jersey
A Car Accident Attorney Can Help
It is a well-known fact that drinking and driving puts everyone on the road in danger, and yet people continue to get behind the wheel when their abilities are impaired by alcohol. In fact, nearly one in three traffic fatalities in the U.S. involve a driver who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater, which is above the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle (according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). That number does not include drivers who had blood alcohol levels between about .05 and .07%, which may result in impaired abilities without exceeding legal limits.
Alcohol impacts decision-making abilities, reaction time, vision and motor skills. All of these can increase the likelihood of a driver causing or being involved in a car accident, placing him or herself and anyone in the vehicle at risk. Depending on gender, weight, diet and a number of other factors, alcohol affects each driver differently. Even if a driver has a blood alcohol level that is below the legal limit to drive, he or she could actually be incapable of driving safely.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is also a crime. In New Jersey, a driver who is convicted of operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08% or greater, or while his or her abilities are impaired by alcohol or drugs, may face serious penalties. This may include imprisonment, fines, license suspension or revocation, court fees, surcharges and community service. The severity of penalties will vary depending on whether the driver has a previous DUI conviction and other aggravating factors, like a blood alcohol level of .15% or greater or a child in the vehicle.
Though the penalties for drunk driving are severe, particularly for repeat offenders, they do not necessarily prevent motorists from drinking and driving. This is evident when you consider the statistics: of the 627 traffic fatalities in New Jersey in 2011, 193 (31%) involved drivers with BACs of .08% or greater. What's worse, 121 (19%) of these involved drivers with BACs of .15% or greater – nearly twice the legal limit.
Representing Victims of Drunk Drivers in New Jersey
At Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP we believe in representing the interests of individuals and families who have been impacted by the carelessness and wrongdoing of drunk drivers. Our firm represents clients across the state in these matters, using our experience and resources to handle negotiations with insurance companies and file lawsuits in civil court when possible. Though your future may seem limited (and is certainly changed) after a drunk driving accident, you can begin to rebuild and recover if given the chance. A New Jersey car accident attorney at our firm can work to give you that opportunity.
Drunk driving accidents are entirely preventable, and drivers who make the choice to get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs (prescription or street drugs) should be held accountable. Though New Jersey implements a version of no-fault insurance when it comes to car accidents, there are ways for a victim to seek full compensation from the at-fault driver – and we can look over the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine how best to proceed.
For additional insight regarding drunk driving and how it applies to car, truck,
motorcycle and all other motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey,
contact NBRS. We handle these matters on a contingent fee basis, so you pay no legal fees unless we win your case.