Drunk driving is a serious problem throughout the United States and in New Jersey. Each year, a number of fatalities and injuries can be attributed to traffic accidents that involve alcohol and/or drugs. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs have less control over their motor functions and they are more likely to drive in an erratic or reckless manner. Consequently, the injuries suffered in drunk driving accident are often catastrophic or fatal.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the 37,261 traffic fatalities in the United States in 2008, 13,846 were alcohol-related. That means nationally, 37 percent of all fatal car accidents that year involved a drunk driver. New Jersey’s average is slightly below the national average. In 2008, 590 people were killed in car accidents in New Jersey, with 33 percent of those fatalities involving alcohol. Additionally, 26 percent of all fatal car crashes in the state that year involved a driver who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.
Under New Jersey Statute 39:4-50, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or higher. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol may be held criminally liable for their actions by the authorities and civilly liable for the damages suffered if the injured victim or the deceased victim’s family chooses to file a civil lawsuit following a car crash in New Jersey.
The skilled car accident lawyers in Princeton at Lependorf & Silverstein help victims who have been injured by a motorist who was driving drunk or otherwise negligent receive the compensation they need and deserve. To discuss whether you have a valid claim against a driver or to find out how much your claim may be worth, please contact our law offices at 609-240-0040. We always offer free consultations to injured victims and their families.