DWI in A School Zone

Penalties For DWI In A School Zone - N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g)

school zone sign

A DWI in a school zone infraction is defined as having occurred within 1,000 feet of a property that is utilized for school purposes. The property must be leased or owned by a New Jersey school board, elementary school or secondary school. If the municipality has deemed the area as a school crossing or if it is a location in which juveniles are crossing and present—even if it is not a designated area for the school—it is considered a school zone and the DWI will fall under its parameters with the mandatory punishments in the event of a conviction. Penalties for driving in a school zone range from $500 – $2000 with an annual surcharge of up to $2000 a year for three years. It also includes a loss of driving privileges for up to 20 years. To see a full list of court imposed Fines and Penalties click on this link.

What qualifies as a school zone in New Jersey DWI Arrest?

The language of N.J.S.A.  39:4-50(g) lays out the charge for a DWI or Drug DWI in a school zone. According to the language a violation occurs when either or both are present:

  • On school property- School property is defined by 39:1-1 “school zone” means that portion of a highway which is either contiguous to territory occupied by a school building or is where school crossings are established in the vicinity of a school, upon which are maintained appropriate “school signs”. This also includes property which is owned or leased by the school or being within 1000 feet of this property.
  • Driving through a school crossing- Drivers can be subject to penalty whether or not the crossing has been designated as such by ordinance or In fact all that is required to meet the definition of school crossing under 39:1-1 is “any portion of a highway where school children are required to cross the highway in the vicinity of a school.

As you can see the areas that could be covered and qualify as a school zone in NJ are broad. Not knowing that you are currently in a school zone is not a defense and whether there are actually children present or if the school is in session also does not create a defense. What this could potentially mean is that even late in the evening or on a weekend if you are driving past a football field, school park or any other school building you could be charged with a DWI in a New Jersey school zone.


Call Villani & DeLuca, P.C. at 732-965-3999  to get help figuring out the penalties related to your drunk driving conviction. Our skilled New Jersey DWI defense attorneys will give you a FREE initial consultation and review your case to see how we can help.

Act Now Before It's Too Late!

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Mistakes happen all of the time. If a mistake was made by the police or the New Jersey prosecution it should not hurt you and your family. Our experienced NJ DWI Defense Lawyers at Villani & DeLuca regularly protect the legal rights of people who have been charged with DWI / DUI or breath test refusal. This traffic offense carries the possibility of jail time and costly fines in New Jersey. The stakes are too high and the possible effects can last for years. A strong legal defense can often convince the courts to have your drunk driving charges dismissed or reduced so don't risk your future by trying to defend yourself against a DUI! Contact Villani & Deluca today for a FREE case evaluation on all your pending drunk driving charges.

This website is designed for information purposes only and should not be construed as formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

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