Being cited for driving under the influence of alcohol can wreak havoc on every area of your life. In addition to resulting in fines and a potential jail sentence, it can impact your ability to provide and care for loved ones while jeopardizing your career, now and in the years to come. As an experienced New Jersey DUI attorney, Jordan B. Rickards is here to provide the aggressive legal defense you need in these types of cases. However, with the holidays right around the corner, we want you to be aware of the increased risks and what you can do to avoid these charges.
DUI Charges Increase Over the Holidays
With the festive nature of the holiday season and the increased opportunities to get together with family, friends, and coworkers, there is a tendency to let down your guard when it comes to alcohol. Unfortunately, this can have serious consequences, particularly if you elect to get behind the wheel.
According to New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, the winter holidays are among the most likely for people to drive under the influence. As a result, law enforcement officials will be ramping up efforts over the coming months. Expect increased officer presence in general on the roads, as well as an increased number of DUI traffic checkpoints. The consequences you could be facing for a conviction on DUI charges include:
- For a first offense: Fines up to $500, up to 30 days in jail, up to a one-year driver’s license suspension, mandatory drug and alcohol counseling, and an automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for the next three years.
- For a second offense: Fines up to $1,000, up to 90 days in jail, a two-year driver’s license suspension, mandatory counseling and automobile insurance surcharge, and installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for up to three years after.
- For a third offense: In addition to increased fines and other penalties, you could be facing up to 180 days in jail and a 10-year license suspension.
These fines are all in addition to other expenses you incur, including court costs, license reinstatement fees, and payments to state victim funds and drunk driving enforcement programs.
Knowing When NOT to Get Behind the Wheel
There is nothing wrong with wanting to get together with friends and loved ones to toast the holidays. Unfortunately, you need to be aware that even relatively small amounts of alcohol could impair your driving abilities and increase your risks of DUI.
Factors such as your gender, weight, age, and overall physical health all play a factor. While blood/breath alcohol content levels for a DUI are .08%, under New Jersey drunk driving laws you can be charged for simply appearing intoxicated. To reduce your risks, follow these tips:
- Moderate the amount you drink and focus on non-alcohol beverages;
- Make sure to eat before you go out and while you are drinking;
- Opt for activities for which drinking is not the main focus;
- Stop consuming alcohol several hours before getting behind the wheel.
Alcohol hits everyone differently and none of these tips are foolproof. The best way to avoid getting a DUI is simply to not drink or to get a cab or have a sober friend drive you home.
Charged With Drunk Driving? Our New Jersey DUI Attorney is Here to Help
When facing DUI charges, you need aggressive legal representation. At the Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, we are dedicated to protecting your rights and helping you avoid potential penalties. To discuss your case with our New Jersey DUI attorney, call or contact our office online today and request a one-on-one consultation.