Despite widespread public awareness campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving, many people in New Jersey continue to make the negligent and risky choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after they have consumed alcohol. With the holiday season in full swing, a multitude of parties and other gatherings will be happening in the coming weeks that will likely see a significant number of people driving after drinking.
As reported by NJ.com, the the state of New Jersey saw a jump in the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents in 2016 over the prior year. Only Vermont, Iowa and Alaska experienced a bigger jump in DUI fatalities than New Jersey did that year. Overall, there was a 27-percent increase in the number of alcohol-related deaths in the state compared to a national average increase of 1.7 percent.
According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, in 2016, alcohol was a factor in 36 percent of vehicular fatalities over Christmas with 32 percent of those deaths in crashes where at least one driver was over the legal limit of 0.08 percent blood alcohol content. On New Year’s Day that same year, drivers with some measurable amount of alcohol in their system were involved in 43 percent of all deaths.
In 2017, more than 37,000 lives were lost on U.S. roads, highways and freeways. Almost 11,000 of those lives were lost in drunk driving accidents and 67 percent of the DUI deaths occurred in wrecks in which a driver’s BAC level was found to be at least 0.15 percent or greater.