A person who consumes any amount of alcohol and then operates a vehicle in New Jersey could potentially be charged for drunk driving. Although the legal blood alcohol concentration limit for driving is .08 percent, the law allows a person to be prosecuted for drunk driving even when their BAC is below the statutory limit.

Whether or not individuals are legally intoxicated from the alcohol that they consumed, the substance can cause them to experience a decreased level of judgment and alertness. These effects could potentially impair a person’s ability to drive. A police officer who determines that an individual’s driving has been negatively impacted by alcohol consumption could decide to seek drunk driving charges.

A person could also face charges for consuming drugs before getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Whether people consumed an illegal substance or a drug that they had a valid prescription for, they could be criminally charged for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of the drug. Someone who knowingly allows another person to drive a vehicle while the driver is under the influence or drugs or alcohol is also considered to be in violation of state laws.

After being charged with drunk driving, it may be in a person’s best interests to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney who can look into the details of the case in order to advise the client about how they should plead. If the results of a BAC test are below the legal limit, an attorney may be able to successfully argue for the charges to be reduced or dismissed.