Woodbridge Police Focus on High School Program to Prevent Driving While Intoxicated

As prom season approaches, the Woodbridge police department is focusing its efforts on preventing driving while intoxicated, rather than merely enforcement after the fact. Recognizing that penalties under New Jersey law against drivers alleged to be under the influence while operating a motor vehicle are not necessarily the best way to protect our communities, the police department will be providing presentations at local high schools that detail the actual real-world consequences of driving while intoxicated.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

Although this program focuses on real world consequences, injuries, and deaths that can potentially result from driving while intoxicated, many drivers who have experienced the effects of New Jersey’s driving while intoxicated statutes know that the law imposes harsh penalties even when none of these real-world consequences occur, and even in less dramatic instances than those focused on by the police department’s prom-focused awareness program. Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, the most severe penalties are reserved for cases in which a driver’s blood alcohol level is alleged to be over .1, in which case penalties may include a driver’s license suspension of 7 months to 1 year, an ignition interlock requirement during license suspension and for 6 months to 1 year following restoration of one’s driver’s license, over $800 in fines and fees, a $1,000 insurance surcharge each year for three years, and up to 30 days in jail. But steep penalties also apply if a driver’s blood alcohol content is alleged to be lower than .1, so long as the blood alcohol content is found to be at least .08. At this lower blood alcohol level, drivers can still face minimum penalties of a 3 month driver’s license suspension, over $700 in fines and fees, a $1,000 insurance surcharge each year for three years, and up to 30 days of jail time.

Increased Penalties for Multiple DWI Offenses

Additionally, if a driver has prior DWI convictions within the past 10 years, penalties quickly increase in severity, to a license suspension of 2 years, an ignition interlock requirement during license suspension and for 1 to 3 years afterwards, over $1,000 in fines and fees, a $1,000 insurance surcharge each year for three years, and 2 to 90 days of jail time. For third DWI offenses within the past 10 years, penalties can include a driver’s license suspension of 10 years, an ignition interlock requirement during license suspension and for 1 to 3 years afterwards, over $1,500 in fines and fees, a $1,500 insurance surcharge each year for three years, and 180 days (approximately 6 months) of jail time.

30 June, 2015 / by bcampbell