Around this time of year, there seems to be a collective concern around drinking and driving. With an abundance of holiday celebrations, the chances of a New Jersey resident having one too many drinks and getting behind the wheel increases significantly. While this concern for road safety around the holidays is widespread, there are specific areas where you’re more likely to get a DUI in New Jersey. Monmouth County has made more DUI arrests than any other county. There were a total of 2,720 recorded cases of DUI charges in Monmouth for the 2018 fiscal year which ended in June. This number closely matches the total DUI charges from the year before as well. In addition to Monmouth County, statistics showed that Middlesex, Camden, and Bergen counties are all locations where you’re more likely to get a DUI. However, the rest of the state shows numbers moving in the opposite direction. Below we examine why DUI’s are decreasing across the country and the rest of the state.
A Drop in DUI Cases
Counties like Monmouth and Ocean have had a steady increase in DUI charges simply because their DUI laws are more forceful than other counties in New Jersey. Local law enforcement in these areas tends to be more aggressive when it comes to getting a DUI in New Jersey. Despite these rising numbers, the rest of New Jersey is showing a significant drop in DUI arrests. Road safety research shows that DUI charges statewide have actually dropped 20 percent over the past decade. There were a total of 37,597 DUI charges across the state in 2009 and only 29,942 charges in 2018. This isn’t actually specific to New Jersey alone. Drunk driving arrests have actually fallen across the country. According to FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, DUI arrests have fallen from 1.4 million in 2007 to 1 million in 2016. That results to DUI charges diminishing by 27 percent throughout that decade.
Reasons for DUI Cases Declining
Researchers have narrowed down a few reasons why they believe DUI cases are on the decline in both New Jersey and nationwide. Below are a few common explanations of this decrease in DUI charges.
- More people are using recreational marijuana instead of drinking. This is a common interpretation of these numbers nationwide. Since the rise of the legalization of marijuana has taken place, more people are choosing marijuana over alcohol. However, as of right now, law enforcement officials have no way of detecting if someone is high while driving. Training programs for officers to be drug recognition experts (DRE) are in effect, but there’s no equivalent of a Breathalyzer test as of yet.
- People are reacting to DUI consequences. If you or anyone you know has been charged with a DUI in New Jersey, you know how expensive it can be. These arrests lead to severe consequences and many New Jersey residents are starting to understand this. Besides the financial losses, a loss of a license can be incredibly inconvenient in a state like New Jersey. More and more people are becoming aware of these burdens and are resisting the urge to drink and drive.
- Ride-sharing apps are on the rise. Thankfully, technology has made it a bit easier for everyone to get home safely. Research has provided evidence of significant decreases in alcohol-related accidents since apps like Uber and Lyft have appeared. The convenience factor in these applications is very high, making it a more desirable way to get around.
- There have been technical difficulties with testing. Even when someone fails a Breathalyzer test and is charged with a DUI in New Jersey, chances are the case can be dismissed. There have been many cases of faulty equipment, meaning that DUI attorneys have a better chance of getting the charges dropped. It’s also been reported that officers have been reluctant to become certified in these tests, due to the technical issues most have experienced.
If You’ve Been Charged With a DUI in New Jersey
It’s always important to remember to have a plan before you start drinking. It’s not just this time of year. You should always be sober and alert when operating a vehicle at any time of year. Assign a designated driver, use a ride-sharing app, or take a taxi. Regardless of your choice, it’s best to know how you’re getting home if you know you’ll be drinking or using drugs. However, sometimes despite our best efforts, we can make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. If you’ve been charged with a DUI in New Jersey, call a DUI attorney as soon as possible. It’s never recommended to handle these sort of charges alone. A DUI arrest can have severe consequences, but an attorney can help you to navigate through your conviction and provide options for you. Contact a trusted DUI attorney today to get help with your DUI charge.