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What charges can New Jersey drivers face for drunk driving?

On the busy streets of New Jersey, an act of negligence can cause serious injury or even death to other motorists. Drunk driving is one of these negligent acts. Intoxicated driving is one of the more common causes of car accidents in New Jersey, as well as across the entire nation. It is in the best interest of any driver to know the basic drunk driving laws, and even penalties, so that they can avoid a car accident and its legal penalties.

What is the blood alcohol content limit for drivers in New Jersey? As in most states, the BAC level that will merit a drunk driving citation is 0.08 percent or higher. However, there is a caveat. Even if a driver's BAC is below 0.08 percent, the driver can still be guilty of intoxicated driving if the small doses of alcohol negatively affect the driver's alertness, vision, decision making and overall driving skills.

Besides drunk driving charges, what other charges can a drunk driver face? If an intoxicated driver has a passenger who is younger than 18 years of age, the driver can also be charged with a "disorderly persons" offense. This applies to drunk parents who have their children in the car. In such cases, the driver will often be required to perform community service for up to five days and must forfeit the right to use a car or any other motor vehicle for up to six months.

When a drunk driver causes injuries or death, the police can file serious charges. However, a victim, or the victim's family if it is a fatal accident, can also file a civil legal action against the driver. Monetary damages are frequently sought by the victim or the victim's family.

Source: Nj.gov, "Driving while intoxicated in New Jersey," Accessed Nov. 3, 2014

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