People make mistakes every single day. Whether it’s a minor mistake at work or forgetting your car keys, making mistakes is part of life. While most mistakes are minor, there are a few that can have lifelong detrimental effects. For many individuals, making the mistake of drunk driving has led to a world of problems. Last year more than 30,000 arrests were made in New Jersey alone for drunk driving.

In late April, families of victims of drunk drivers gathered for a yearly ceremony to remember loved ones and commemorate officers who have aided in DUI arrests. One officer received an award for individually arresting 86 people, which is more than one DUI arrest a week. With the average DUI cost reaching into the thousands, many offenders have to pay dearly for their mistakes.

The legal blood alcohol limit in New Jersey is 0.08. Anyone who exhibits a blood alcohol level above 0.08 is considered legally impaired. DUI convictions can come with harsh consequences, including jail time, large fines, license suspension and even the installation of an ignition interlock system. For repeat offenders, the penalties can be even more severe. The best way to avoid a DUI conviction is to simply not drink and drive, but mistakes do happen, and countless state residents have had close calls with the legal limit.

For any New Jersey resident who has made the mistake of drunk driving, there may be ways to negotiate a reduced sentence so that a DUI does not permanently ruin a person’s life. An experienced attorney can help show a judge that an incident was a one-time lapse in judgment, or a rare misstep made by an otherwise responsible driver.

Source: CBS Philly, “New Jersey honors drunken driving victims, top DWI police,” April 24, 2013