MANSFIELD, NEW JERSEY — Drunk driving? Check. Carrying a concealed firearm while drunk? Check. Doing both of those in the state of New Jersey? Check, check, check. The Mansfield News Journal delivered to us a brief snippet of a man who got pulled over drunk in New Jersey. The man actually had a license to carry a concealed firearm — something as rare as a unicorn in the state of New Jersey. He blew a 0.119 BAC, well over the legal limit for driving and certainly more than is allowed to carry concealed.
The Mansfield Police cuffed him and booked him, so no surprises there.
As a concealed carrier, we’re held to a higher standard by the law. We have to clear a number of background checks, usually have mandatory firearms training we have to pass, and are restricted from certain practices. One of those practices is being under the influence. As a plain Jane citizen wandering around, we’re allowed to have a few (or more). As a concealed carrier, we’re explicitly not allowed to consume alcohol.
When the man was pulled over, he was at least smart enough to declare that he had concealed and loaded firearms in the vehicle with him. Smart is an operative word, in this case, because he obviously lacked the good judgement to stop himself from getting behind the wheel.
Related: Drinking and concealed carry don’t mix — ever. If you haven’t read our article on alcohol and carrying concealed, please do. It’s a decent breakdown of the reasons it doesn’t make sense in addition to it being illegal.
Now, if you’re on your own property and enjoying an adult beverage responsibly — that’s your prerogative. If you’re enjoying a drink out in town, we’ve constantly advocate for having a designated marksman. That’s a guy or gal who’s legally allowed to carry and is going to stay sober throughout the course of the evening. It’s the safest bet to keeping clear minds and clear judgement behind the trigger.
We’re not even going to touch on the stupidity of drunk driving. Do a lot of good people wind up behind the wheel that are over the limit? Heck, yes. There’s a whole industry of law offices and products geared to servicing that particular facet of human behavior. The best is having a designated driver. Second to that is getting a taxi cab. And the last of all of them are the lawyers who will represent you for, on average, $2,500 to $10,000.
Which one would you rather take?
This guy obviously opted for the latter.
It’s unfortunate for multiple reasons — not only was he careless with himself, others on the road, and the people around him at the bar, he was also one of the very few people in New Jersey who could legally carry that wasn’t an off-duty police officer. That’s a shame.
And, as he waived his right to a grand jury trial, he’ll likely be doing a bit of time and never be able to legally carry a firearm out in public. That is a tremendous amount to gamble on a night out.
Be responsible. Leave the guns at home and call a cab.