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Will a DWI In A School Zone Increase Your Penalties?

Posted by Carmine R. Villani | Apr 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

police lights on car

In Monmouth County, driving while intoxicated (DWI) (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50) of alcohol or drugs can have serious consequences, especially if you are involved in an accident within a school zone, where the penalties for a DWI are increased.

This is true in the case of the driver who struck a police officer while driving under the influence last year. A 21-year-old was driving under the influence of both heroin and marijuana when he struck and seriously injured a West Long Branch Police Sergeant on November 6, 2015, will be charged. The driver faces additional penalties because this accident occurred in a school zone. 

The Heightened Consequences of Getting a DWI in a School Zone in Monmouth County

New Jersey has very serious consequences if you are convicted of driving, or attempting to drive, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  These consequences are even more serious if the same infraction occurs in a school zone.  New Jersey offers more protection to areas designated as school zones, and a DWI which occurs in one of these zones is subject to more serious charges, penalties and fines than if the DWI occurred outside the school zone. The law N.J.S.A. 39:4-50g defines a school zone as:

 (1) on any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of such school property;

In the case of the police officer who was struck while directing traffic in a school zone, the driver will face not only Driving While Under the Influence of Narcotics, Reckless Driving, and Failure to Comply with the Direction of an Officer, but also second degree Assault by Auto in a School Zone. 

Penalties For Driving While Intoxicated in a School Zone

Conviction for a DWI in all cases is serious, but the consequences for a 1st offense DWI conviction in a school zone can be severe including the doubling of the fines attached to the violation. Those convicted of DWI in a school zone face fines of $500-$800, loss of driving privileges for 1-2 years, up to 60 days in jail, IDRC classes, the installation of a ignition interlock device, plus additional surcharges and penalties.  

When To Contact a Monmouth County DWI Defense Attorney

Villani & DeLuca has been defending those facing Drunk Driving charges in Red Bank, Middletown, Freehold and towns throughout Monmouth County. Call 732-965-3999 today for a FREE consultation.

About the Author

Carmine R. Villani

Founding partner, Carmine Villani, Esq. is a former municipal prosecutor with over three decades of experience in Criminal and DWI Defense.


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