Can a Husband Sitting In the Passenger Seat Be Charged With DUI?

Driving under the influence is a very serious motor vehicle violation. If a driver is pulled over and charged they can face significant fines, loss of their driver's license and even jail time. These penalties are even stricter for individuals who have been convicted of multiple DUIs.

Understanding the Extent of NJ DUI Laws

Driving under the influence is a very serious charge, so people may try to take certain steps to avoid being stopped including having someone else drive their vehicle. However, if you are intoxicated and allow someone else to drive your car, you could still be found guilty of DUI if the person you allowed to drive is intoxicated. In 1996 a New Jersey Supreme Court case, State v. Hessen, concluded “a person who allows an intoxicated person to drive” is “as blameworthy as the drunk driver.”

How a Passenger Can Get Charged with DUI in NJ

The case above demonstrates some of the different situations that can lead to a DUI. That's why it is possible for a husband or anyone else sitting in the passenger seat to be charged with DUI in the state of New Jersey.

The reason this can occur is under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 if a person who is intoxicated allows a second person to drive their vehicle and that person is also intoxicated, they can both be charged for driving under the influence. The specific language used is "permits another to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%.”

This interpretation of the law was upheld in State v. Kashi, which ruled that the “permitting” portion of the statute is not a separate offense from DUI but is actually an alternative form of evidence that can be used to prove this offense.

Discuss Your Case with a New Jersey DUI Attorney

There are countless people who thought they were being responsible but still ended up getting charged with a DUI. Regardless of how it happens, this is a charge that can have significant consequences. That's why it's in your best interest to seek out the right legal representation if you are facing this type of charge.

Contact Villani & DeLuca, P.C. for a FREE consultation in regards to your pending DWI charges. Our experienced DUI defense lawyers are here to answer your questions. Call 732-372-0820 today.