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Holiday season may mean an increase in drunk driving charges

The holiday season is a busy time for police. In nearly every state in the nation there is an annual spike in drunk driving and DUI charges during this time of year. Because of this, New Jersey recently enacted a statewide campaign titled, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."

According to the state, as part of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" initiative, state and local police will be increasing DWI patrols and sobriety checkpoints. The campaign, which is set to run through January 2, 2014, aims to identify motorists who are allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

While the consequences of drunk driving should never be taken lightly, an intoxicated motorist who harms a pedestrian or motorist in motor vehicle accident faces especially serious consequences. According to the State Police, there were more than 550 fatal automobile accidents in New Jersey in 2012, with nearly 590 people killed. In nearly 29 percent of the crashes one or more individuals involved in the crash had consumed alcohol.

Even in the best of cases, individuals convicted of a DUI charge face potential jail time, license suspension and fines. If a motorist is convicted of injuring or killing someone while under the influence of alcohol, the stakes go up considerably. In New Jersey, if a motorist causes the death of another person while under the influence of alcohol, they are guilty of vehicular homicide, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Therefore, those accused of drunk driving will want to put together a solid defense strategy in order to counter such charges. Doing so may help lessen the consequences of a drunk driving arrest or even have the DUI charges against the accused dropped entirely.

Source: NJ.com, "Cops increasing DWI patrols, checkpoints starting Thanksgiving weekend," Justin Zaremba, Nov. 27, 2013

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