While St. Patrick’s Day may be a time to dress up in green clothes, drink green beer and eat some corned beef and cabbage, it is also a holiday where law enforcement officials in New Jersey step up drunk driving enforcement by increasing patrols. Due to the laws against drunk driving in the state, this can mean a once fun day with family and friends can turn into a legal nightmare, complete with a trip to jail.
Officials in New Jersey are already warning residents to not test their luck when it comes to driving after drinking. Not only do state police plan on stepping up enforcement on the actual holiday, but investigators from Alcoholic Beverage Control also plan on doing random checks of bars and other establishments to make sure people are not being over-served.
With the extra attention being put on drunk driving though, some may wonder if this will lead to a spike in drunk driving arrests and people being falsely accused of driving under the influence. For example, maybe someone who is just tired may swerve a little bit, but due to police being on high alert for drunk driving, they could end up being pulled over and asked to take a breath test.
When it comes to drunk driving charges, if convicted, the penalties in New Jersey can be rather steep and include jail time, a driver’s license suspension and/or an ignition interlock device being installed in a car. This can all also be on top of an increase in car insurance rates.
In general, there is a common misconception that just because a person is arrested for DUI, that driver is automatically guilty. However, the truth is that police can make mistakes or the breath test used to determine the driver’s blood alcohol content could be incorrect. This is why those who are arrested for DUI are strongly encouraged to contact a criminal defense attorney after the arrest.
Source: NorthJersey.com, “NJ officials warn St. Patrick’s partiers,” March 14, 2014