With the Memorial Day holiday weekend rapidly approaching, many people are undoubtedly putting the finishing touches on their plans for this much-anticipated three-day weekend.
While some will use the opportunity to visit friends out-of-state, many others will be staying closer to home, going to the beach, attending barbeques or maybe even just relaxing with friends. While a so-called "staycation" might prove to be the perfect plan, those who plan on consuming alcohol during their rest and relaxation will nevertheless want to proceed with caution.
That's because both local and state law enforcement will more than likely be ramping up the number of DUI patrols over the weekend, meaning troopers and officers will be out on the roads and highways all hours of the day looking for drunk drivers.
As an incentive for people to think twice before consuming that one last beer, glass of wine or holiday-themed cocktail, consider just how serious the punishment can be for even a first-offense DUI here in New Jersey.
Indeed, a conviction for first-offense DUI can result in the following penalties:
- Up to 30 days imprisonment
- A fine of anywhere from $250-$400
- A license suspension of three months
- An automobile insurance discharge of $1,000 per year for three years
- A minimum of six hours per day for two consecutive days in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
It's important to note that if a driver's blood alcohol content was found to be .10 or higher, the fine range increases to $300-$500, while the license suspension period also increases to between seven months and one year.
Furthermore, if a driver's BAC was found to be .15 or higher, he or she will be required to install an ignition interlock device, which requires a passing BAC level to start a vehicle, for the license suspension period and for anywhere from six months to one year after their license is restored.
If a person does end up making a mistake by getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink, it's important for them not to panic, and to understand that they have rights and they have options. Indeed, a skilled legal professional can enforce these rights, explore all possible options and fight to protect their future.