Driving While Intoxicated


The Raritan Township Police Department takes the enforcement of New Jersey's drunk driving laws very seriously, and has a zero-tolerance policy for violators of those laws.  The Raritan Township Police Department routinely conducts supplemental DWI patrols funded through state and federal grant programs.

 

In New Jersey, under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, a person WILL be found guilty of drunk driving if a court finds that he or she operated a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (B.A.C.) of 0.08% or higher, or under the influence of drugs (illegal or prescription).  In addition, a person MAY be found guilty of drunk driving if a court finds that he or she operated a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.08%.  The courts recognize that consuming even small amounts of alcohol can increase your reaction time and hamper your judgment to make split second decisions when operating a motor vehicle.

 

As an additional enforcement tool, some officers have been trained as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE).  The DRE uses a standardized twelve-step evaluation process to determine whether or not a person is under the influence of drugs, and which category of drug that is causing the observable impairment.  The twelve-step procedure also allows the DRE to rule out many medical conditions, such as illness or injury, which may be contributing to the person's impairment.  While the main objective of the DRE training is DWI enforcement, the evaluation process has been applied in probation and parole settings and other areas where accurate identification of a drug-impaired individual is relevant.

 

The penalties for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are as follows:

 

FIRST OFFENSE, UNDER 0.10% B.A.C.: Fines of $250 to $400, imprisonment for up to 30 days, 3 month driver's license suspension, 6 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, and an automobile insurance surcharge of $1000/year for 3 years.

 

FIRST OFFENSE, 0.10% B.A.C. OR HIGHER, OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS:  Fines of $300 to $500, imprisonment for up to 30 days, 7 month driver's license suspension, 6 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, and an automobile insurance surcharge of $1000/year for 3 years.

 

SECOND OFFENSE:  Fines of $500 to $1000, imprisonment for up to 90 days, 2 year driver's license suspension, 48 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, and an automobile insurance surcharge of $1000/year for 3 years.

 

THIRD AND SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES:  Fines of $500 to $1000, Imprisonment for up to 180 days, 10 year driver's license suspension, detainment in an in-patient alcohol treatment program, and an automobile insurance surcharge of $1500/year for 3 years.

 

EVERY OFFENSE ALSO CARRIES:  $100 surcharge to the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund, an Intoxicated Driving Program fee of $100, a MVC license restoration fee of $50, a Violent Crime Compensation Fund fee of $50, and a Safe and Secure Community Program fee of $75.

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