With the holidays approaching, New Jersey drivers should all be aware that parties with family and co-workers can lead to driving under the influence (DUI). Even if you do not believe that you are drunk, you may still be legally intoxicated when you leave a party -- which can lead to a DUI charge.
Driving Under the Influence
The New Jersey traffic offense of DUI applies when a driver, of either a motor vehicle or a boat, has a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher. In the state of New Jersey, the penalties associated with a DUI conviction vary depending on the specifics of the case but can include fines, jail time, community service, participation at an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center and the loss of your driver’s license.
The most severe penalties apply to cases where the driver had a blood alcohol concentration of .10% or higher and for repeat offenders, but only a DUI lawyer can explain the possible sentence in your case if you are convicted and to plan your defense,
Intoxicated Driving Resource Center
Individuals convicted of an alcohol or drug-related DUI offense must participate in a program at an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center. There is one such center in each county of the state for first time offenders. Repeat offenders must participate in one of the three statewide regional centers. Those who participate attend alcohol and highway safety classes and, where necessary, participate in a minimum 16-week treatment program.
Underage New Jersey Drivers Who Drink
It is illegal for an individual under the age of 21 to purchase, consume or even possess alcohol. If an underage New Jersey resident purchases alcohol they can be fined and suffer the loss of their driver’s license for six months. If the individual does not yet have a license, the suspension is delayed until they first receive a driver’s license. Those found guilty of purchasing alcohol under the age of 21 may also be required to attend alcohol education and/or treatment programs.
For drivers under the age of 21 who consume any amount of alcohol, there is a zero tolerance policy in New Jersey. If convicted of drinking and then driving an individual’s license can be postponed or lost for a period of 30-90 days. An underage driver may also be required to complete community service as well as alcohol and traffic safety education classes.
Let HCK Help You When You Need it Most
Anyone can make the mistake of drinking at a holiday party and then trying to drive home while still legally intoxicated. While it is best to call a taxi or have a sober family member drive, if you find yourself in this situation, the DUI attorneys at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. understand how this one-time mistake can cause life altering consequences at home and at work. Call our experienced attorneys today to develop your defense and minimize the consequences.