Even with the state’s tough DUI/DWI laws serving as a deterrent, there are still people who drive on New Jersey’s roads while intoxicated. Unfortunately, when drunk drivers hit the highways, injury-causing crashes often result. Recent multi-car accidents on I-80 caused by drunk drivers have shined a spotlight on the problem, putting the issue “front and center” for discussion.

Is the state doing enough?

New Jersey – like most other states – considers someone to be driving while impaired or intoxicated by the effects of alcohol if he or she has a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. Of course, the BAC doesn’t account for drivers who have ingested prescription medications or illicit drugs that can have an intoxicating effect equal to or surpassed by alcohol.

The state takes a hard line on drunk driving with its “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, as well as increased patrols in areas (and periods) of notoriously high rates of drinking and driving, but it doesn’t seem to be enough; there are still – according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – hundreds of alcohol-fueled crashes in the Garden State every year.

The state’s law enforcement officers patrol en masse during holiday seasons in highly visible campaigns aimed at ensuring that drivers who imbibe a bit too much “holiday cheer” are taken off the road before it is too late, but the police cannot be everywhere, and as long as people are willing to drink and drive, accidents will happen.

Been in an accident caused by a drunk driver?

Tragically, accidents caused by drunk drivers tend to be catastrophic, causing serious injuries or fatalities; part of the reason for this is that many of the wrecks involve head-on collisions because the inebriated driver is going the wrong way. Reports of alcohol-related accidents in the media are often filled with death announcements and descriptions of serious injuries like:

  • Broken bones, often requiring surgical repair
  • Severe lacerations from broken vehicle glass
  • Spinal injuries like whiplash or torn muscles in the neck and back
  • Traumatic brain injuries, sometimes leading to strokes or resulting in lifelong consequences like loss of motor function or marked personality differences
  • Paralysis

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you likely have questions. You may be wondering how you will pay for medical expenses, how you can come up with money to replace your lost wages and how to afford to get your car repaired. You don’t need to worry about that, though: you need to focus on your recovery. An experienced personal injury attorney in your area can handle the legal issues while allowing you to focus your time and energy on overcoming the injuries you have suffered.