On Saturday, June 6, Clinton police apprehended Gwendolyn Salas, 24, of Piscataway, on charges of driving while intoxicated, along with additional charges of consumption of an alcoholic beverage while driving, and speeding. Officers initially stopped Salas’ vehicle when they allegedly observed her speeding. Further allegations arose when officers allegedly spotted open alcohol containers in the vehicle during the speeding stop, and allegedly smelled alcohol on her breath, leading officers to allege that Salas was driving while intoxicated. Salas submitted to a breathalyzer test following her arrest, which presumably will be used against her in a court of law in supporting the DWI charges.
Penalties for Drunk Driving in NJ
Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, Salas will be facing potential penalties for driving while intoxicated that include a driver’s license suspension of a t least 3 months, $700 or more in fines and fees, an annual insurance surcharge of $1,000 each year for three years, and up to 30 days of potential jail time. If Salas has been convicted of any DWI offenses previously, including guilty pleas, refusals to submit to breathalyzer tests, or driving under the influence of controlled substances, penalties would then increase in severity. For a third offense, penalties could include a driver’s license suspension of 10 years, an ignition interlock requirement throughout the license suspension and for 1 to 3 years afterwards, more than $1,500 in fines and fees, $1,500 per year in insurance surcharges for three years, and 180 days (about 6 months) of jail time.
Piscataway Open Container Penalties
Additional potential penalties are dictated by N.J.S.A. 39:4-51(a) for the charges of consumption of an alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle. This statute allows for penalties including a fine of $200 for a first offense. If Salas has prior offenses of this statute on her record, penalties would then escalate to a fine of $250 or 10 days’ community service. Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-51(a), these same penalties can also be imposed on a passenger who consumes an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle.