After a day of golfing and drinking at a Colts Neck club in 2015, a now 39-year old Woodcliff Lake man rolled his vehicle. His blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was almost three times New Jersey’s legal limit. The driver’s father, a passenger in the car, flew from his seat. He died at a hospital later.

The motorist was charged with driving while intoxicated and vehicular manslaughter. He received three years’ probation in 2018. As of November 2019, the golf club faces a two-year suspension of its license, which stipulated that it only serves beer, not liquor. Under New Jersey law, the club’s owner faces liquor license losses for his two other golf clubs in the state during this period.

No matter where you drink and how much you consume, you can choose not to drink and drive. Keep these tips in mind before you get behind the wheel after drinking.

The consequences of drinking and driving

While the driver’s charges may seem lenient, they fall in line with New Jersey guidelines. New Jersey is one of nine states that will not automatically suspend your license after your first DUI. If your BAC is 0.15 or above, though, this may not be the case. Either way, you will have to forfeit your license until you install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. You will also have to prepare for auto insurance surcharges and complete coursework related to your offense. And you may face up to 30 days in prison, no matter your BAC.

If you receive a second DUI charge, then you may have your license suspended for up to two years. For your third offense, the maximum suspension length increases to eight years. And if you refuse a breathalyzer test, you run the risk of an immediate license suspension.

Learning your lesson

If you drank too much while going out, you can order a car or have a sober friend or relative drive you home. Having someone else drive you eliminates the possibility of a DUI. It also decreases your accident risk. Yet you still might choose to get behind the wheel after a few rounds – at your peril. If you find yourself charged with a DUI, working with a criminal lawyer can help you find the defense that best matches your case.