This year, St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17 and cities throughout the United States will celebrate with parties, bar specials, and parades. It is also a holiday associated with increased alcohol consumption that can lead to criminal activities, such as drunk driving. If a celebrator is intoxicated while driving, it can lead to a serious driving under the influence (DUI) charge.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations take place in private and public venues and can be harmless. However, when celebrations become out of control, celebrators could be charged with fines or end up arrested.
Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication
These two charges can overlap. Generally, the charges involve an intoxicated individual acting disorderly in a public place, such as a park, sidewalk, or street. For example, an overly drunk or drugged individual who is being verbally or physically abusive to others.
Public urination can fall under the disorderly conduct category or it can be a separate charge. If this is done in front of minors, the charges may become serious. Although state laws vary, disorderly conduct and public intoxication are seen as misdemeanors that can lead to one year of jail time.
People who cannot properly handle alcohol can end up in fights with others, causing minor or serious injuries and property damage. Even after only a few drinks, individuals can overreact or misinterpret actions and become angry. Small things like bumping into another bar patron, mistakenly touching someone’s boyfriend, or an innocent joke can set someone off; fights can lead to battery charges.
Unfortunately, intoxication can also lead to domestic battery. After drinking for several hours, someone could go home and get into a physical fight with their partner.
Even with ridesharing services and designated drivers, many St. Patrick’s day revelers will still drive drunk this year. Many cities will prepare for this ahead of time by setting up DUI checkpoints and police patrols. If you are stopped for a possible DUI, pull over to a safe, well-lit area. If the officer suspects intoxicated driving, they may ask you to complete a field sobriety test. This includes a breathalyzer test, standing on one leg, and walking in a straight line.
In New Jersey, if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or more, it can lead to serious drunk driving charges. Depending on how many offenses the driver has and their BAC level, they can be facing fines from $250 to $1,000, incarceration from 30 to 180 days, a license suspension, community service, insurance surcharges, and additional fines.
To avoid charges, it is best to plan ahead of time for your night out. Under no circumstances should a driver drink and drive. Arrange for a designated driver, use a ridesharing service, and avoid risky situations that could lead to charges. Celebrators should be extra cautious to enjoy a safe, good St. Patrick’s Day.
Cherry Hill Criminal Defense Lawyers at Aita Law, LLC Help Clients Facing Criminal Charges
If you are facing a DUI charge or any type of criminal charge, it is essential to speak to an experienced lawyer about your options. Our dedicated Cherry Hill criminal defense lawyers at Aita Law, LLC will help you with charges brought against you and fight to protect your rights. Contact us online or call us at 856-287-7800 for a free consultation about your case. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients in Cherry Hill, Camden County, and throughout the South Jersey area.