New Jersey School Zone DUI Lawyer

     New Jersey School Zone DUI cases are extremely common.  In many parts of the State, entire towns can be considered school zones, automatically triggering enhanced penalties.  

What are the Penalties?

School Zone offenses carry essentially double the penalties associated with a regular DWI.  

1st Offense School Zone DUI:

  • $500-$800 Fine + Assessments
  • 12-24 Month Driver’s License Suspension.
  • Up to 60 days in jail

2nd Offense School Zone DUI:

  • $1000-$2000 Fine + Assessments
  • 4 Year Driver’s License Suspension
  • Minimum 4 days in Jail and up to 180 days

3rd or Subsequent School Zone DUI:

  • $2000 Fine + Assessments
  • 20 Year Driver’s License suspension
  • 180 Days in Jail

In addition to the above, for any DUI, New Jersey will assess a surcharge against you for $1,000 for each of the following three years.  You will also be facing the penalties for the predicate drunk driving charge.  See below for more information.

Can I Win my case?  Do I need a Lawyer?

The State still will have to prove that you were over the legal limit, and this process remains the same as it is in a regular drunk driving case.  These cases can be extremely complex and require in-depth analysis that only a NJ DUI Lawyer can do.  There can be many defenses, from how the police handled sobriety tests, to how they maintained their alcotest machine (breathalyzer)  and in all cases a New Jersey Drunk Driving Attorney can be of some assistance.  

WIth over 40 years experience as Judge, Prosecutor and Criminal Defense Attorney, we have helped thousands of clients with their NJ DUI cases. Call today for a free consultation.

I also refused to take the Breathalyzer / Alcotest, what now?

For the full penalties for Refusal, see here.  New Jersey has an implied consent law and under this statute you are required to submit to breath testing if suspected of drunk driving.  If you refuse to take the test you will be given a separate summons with additional fines and license suspension.  This ticket presumes you guilty of drunk driving.  Even with this presumption, the experienced NJ drunk driving defense lawyers of Avery & Avery, often defeat the charges.  For more information call 201-943-2445.

Frequently Asked Questions

It was in a school zone how does that affect the case?

The State will often try to prosecute a defendant for both a DUI and School Zone DUI.  That means that in addition to the double penalties of a school zone offense, you will also have to face the other charges.  This means for a first offender, you can face a 3-year license suspension rather than the 2-year suspension for the school zone offense only.  Call a NJ School Zone DUI Lawyer today to protect yourself.

Should I take the field sobriety tests?

Unlike the implied consent law regarding the alcotest / breathalyzer which require you to supply breath samples, you are not required to take part in field sobriety tests.  The Alpine police use these tests only to accumulate evidence to convict you, they are not for your benefit.  While we always encourage clients to be cooperative and polite with the police,  we do advise that if you are not completely confident in their ability to perform the test, that there is no statute that compels you to take the field test. Please note that this only applies to tests in the field, and not to the Alcotest, for which there will be separate penalties if you refuse.  

Is there any difference between DUI and DWI?

The names are slightly different, Driving under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), but they cannote the same thing.  In New Jersey, they both refer to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, which is the drunk driving / impaired driving statute. 

I have a prior DUI / DWI in another state, will this count as a second offense or third offense?

Depending on which state you were convicted in and what their drunk driving law is, it may or may not.  Generally if you were caught drinking in another state with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over .08, your prior conviction will count towards enhanced penalties.  There are fairly common situations however in which we can have your out of state DUI conviction not count as a prior offense in NJ.

I was completely ‘wasted’ is this case over?

In many situations the police have caught the defendant dead to rights and there are no defenses.  Even in these situations where the defendant was falling over drunk, the case can be thrown out if there was no probable cause for the initial motor vehicle stop.  Even if there are no defenses to the DWI - DUI, the Attorneys of Avery & Avery, still  often help clients by having other charges thrown out and reducing penalties to the minimums, which for a first offender could mean the difference between a 7 month license suspension and several years of license suspension, depending on the circumstances.

I barely drank or was sober but the machine gave me a high reading, is there anything I can do?

This is an unfortunate situation which happens more frequently than one might think.  These cases often require bringing in an expert to testify as to the machines operation, certification and possible malfunction, potentially permitting the charges to be dropped.  Additionally, even with a high reading you may still have various defenses which only an experienced DUI Defense Lawyer would recognize.

Is there anyway around jail time if convicted?

In most situations it is possible to avoid jail time completely.  In others there are a few methods usable to avoid the harshest consequences of jail such as the loss of a job.  These include time served in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center or inpatient rehabilitation program, amongst others.  These options are all at the discretion of the judge and must be argued for by your lawyer.

What do I tell the police? 

We give the same answer to all clients regarding all criminal charges, say nothing!  Until you talk to your NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer.

How will my drunk driving charge affect my immigration status?

This is not a simple question.  Depending on what your status is, and what your charges are, there can be vastly differing consequences including deportation from the United States.  Generally a conviction under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, is not considered as a removeable offense.  However under certain aggravating circumstances such as if you were driving on the revoked list, or in combination with other offenses, a NJ conviction for DUI could affect your immigration status.

I have been caught on this before is there anyway around the additional penalties?

If your prior DUI was more than 10 years prior to your current charge, your penalties will be stepped down.  This means if it is your second DUI but your first one was 11 years ago, it will count as a first offense for sentencing purposes.  Also if you were indigent and without an attorney during your first DUI conviction you may qualify to have your sentence reduced if you were not counselled as to increased penalties on subsequent offenses.

What happens with a DUI checkpoint?

DUI checkpoints are a common device used by the Alpine police to catch drunk drivers.  NJ provides several protections against unlawful police checkpoints.  The police must comply with certain procedures to ensure the lawfulness of the stop.  If they have not complied with these procedures, any evidence collected may be excluded from prosecution.

What drugs can I be convicted for being under the influence of?

In NJ, any drug that may impair your ability to drive may sustain a  DUI conviction.  These include all illicit drugs, Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Heroin, LSD, etc, as well as any prescription drug which may impair your ability to drive.

What is the IDRC?

The Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) is a program designed to educate about and deter drunk driving.  You must complete this program before your license may be reinstated.  

What is an ignition interlock?

An ignition interlock is a device that is attached to your car and prevents it from starting if you have a BAC over .05, measured by its internal breathalyzer.  For more information click here.

What is a Drug Recognition Expert?

In all Driving under the Influence (DUI) of drugs cases, except marijuana, the police must have you evaluated by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).  These are specially trained police officers who may recognize the symptoms of drug intoxication.  Their reports are used in lieu of a breathalyzer test.  

In Marijauna cases, given its prevalence in society, the court allows the testimony of normally trained police officers to prove guilt of driving under the influence of pot.

They found marijuana in the car, what happens?

For a full discussion on NJ Marijuana laws, see here.These cases are just like any other weed possession case.  The penalties remain the same, as does the possible 2 year suspension of drivers license.  Posession of pot in a motor vehicle opens many avenues of possible defense however.  There are many possible defects in the way the police handled the case that could result in suppression of evdience against you.  To determine if this is a possibility, please contact one of our lawyers at 201-943-2445.

Are the police allowed to take samples of my blood without my consent?

In certain instances the police may take your blood, if they do so in a reasonable manner.  The reasonableness of the withdrawal depends upon numerous circumstances, such as if whether there was consent, the amount of force used, etc. Blood samples provide many possible defenses, including chain of custody, proper withdrawal, and consent / warrant issues.  

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