Buzzed v. Drunk Driving: What Is the Difference?

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Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the most common committed crimes in the United States. Drunk driving represents nearly 40 percent of all traffic fatalities, resulting in the death of an innocent victim every 41 minutes. In 2011, more than 1.2 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. These drunk drivers, who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, caused nearly 15,000 deaths. arrest-DWI

Driving under the influence of alcohol is never a good idea regardless of how much you have had to drink. However, having 1 drink or 5 drinks can make a legal difference for a person who weighs 150 pounds versus another person who weighs 300 pounds.

What Is the Difference Between Buzzed and Drunk Driving?

The term “buzzed” is only another word for feeling slightly intoxicated. It is a euphemism for being intoxicated, but being in better control than a totally drunk person. In this respect, being buzzed refers to a person who is somewhat more sober than a drunk person. Thus, buzzed can legally be considered a smaller degree of being drunk.

A person may be buzzed by steady drinking but still be well under the legal .08 BAC level under New Jersey law. Legally speaking, if you have a buzz from steady drinking but are still within the .08 BAC level, you can still drive without breaking the law. In other words, a buzzed driver can still drive, while the same cannot be said for a person who is drunk with a BAC over .08.  Nevertheless, even though there may be some legal differences between the two terms, it is still never a good idea to drive after having any alcoholic drinks, even if you think you are only buzzed and not drunk.

Call Us

For more information or to schedule a free consultation with New Jersey DWI attorney Dan Matrafajlo, please call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404.

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