Aggressive law enforcement and powerful public information campaigns have helped to lower drunk driving fatalities by about a third in just 30 years, but more than 10,000 road users still die each year around the county in motor vehicle accidents caused by a motorist impaired by alcohol. The legal intoxication threshold for New Jersey drivers is a blood alcohol concentration of .08%, but medical research reveals that motorists can be dangerously impaired with far lower BACs.
Most people will have a BAC of .02% after a single beer, glass of wine or shot of liquor, and a second or third drink will usually raise their blood alcohol level to above .05%. This would still put them below the legal driving limit, but their concentration, decision making abilities and reaction times would be severely hampered. Just a few drinks can also make drivers more adventurous and prone to reckless behavior, and their ability to track moving objects or handle more than one task at a time would be diminished
. The perils of driving under the influence are especially pronounced among young people who lack experience behind the wheel. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers, and 42% of the drunk drivers involved in fatal collisions in 2017 were between 16 and 24 years of age. Many drunk driving accident victims are even younger. Almost one in five of the children killed on the nation’s roads each year die in drunk driving accidents, and most of them are passengers in vehicles driven by an intoxicated motorist.
The consequences of causing a car accident while under the influence of alcohol can be severe, and drunk drivers who catastrophically injure or kill other road users often face serious criminal charges that carry lengthy prison sentences if they survive the crash. When the negligent motorists who injured their clients are incarcerated or killed, experienced personal injury attorneys may pursue compensation by filing lawsuits against their estates or insurance providers.