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Sutnick & Sutnick Attorneys at Law

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New Jersey is considered by many to be a prime location for vacationing and everyday living. In addition to beautiful shorelines, there are many other feature attractions that can keep you busy and provide entertainment in your free time. You may already have a few favorite spots where you meet up with friends on the weekends. Perhaps you love to attend tailgate parties at MetLife Stadium when the Giants or Jets are in town.

Then again, maybe you're the type of person who enjoys quieter gatherings, perhaps at a friend's house or small local pub. No matter what your favorite pastimes are, you hopefully get plenty of time to enjoy them. When food and drink are part of your social occasions, you may have a few planning decisions to make, such as what type of snacks to serve, what you'll order at a particular restaurant and whether to include alcohol in your drinks.

Potential alcohol-related problems and how to avoid them

Consuming alcohol is definitely not a crime if you are of legal drinking age and are not breaking any state laws, such as bringing alcohol into a state park or walking through town with an open container, etc. There are other considerations that should also be taken into account, however, if you plan to imbibe alcoholic beverages when socializing with friends. Whether to drink and drive is an important choice; the following list may help you avoid trouble in that area:

  • Go the extra dollar: Especially if you've already shelled out a few bucks for dinner and drinks, it's usually not too much of a financial strain to spend a bit more money and secure hired transportation to and from your destination. This is an easy way to avoid drunk driving. If you drove to your event but determine you should not drive back home, you can order a taxi service directly from your location (or have someone do it for you if you don't feel up to the task).
  • Host an adult sleepover: Nowadays, more and more people are choosing to socialize in private homes rather than attend large public gatherings. To prevent legal trouble at your party, you can invite guests to spend the night so no one is tempted to drink and drive.
  • Don't forget the designated driver: It is still perfectly acceptable (and highly recommended) to ask someone to come along with you on your night out who agrees to abstain from alcohol. This provides assurance that you will have a safe way to get home. If you regularly socialize with the same group of friends, you can all take turns filling the designated driving positions.

You don't have to be inebriated for a police officer to pull you over and charge you with drunk driving. In fact, it can happen a lot easier that you might think. If a police officer happens to be driving behind your vehicle and witnesses your car drift a bit to the left or right, that's enough to give him or her reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop and ask if you've been drinking alcohol.

What you say and do from that point on may affect the rest of your life. This is why most New Jersey residents request immediate legal representation before answering any questions other than basic identification information. If you act quickly to secure help, you may be able to mitigate your circumstances.

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