DWI in a School Zone N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g)

Winslow NJ DWI in a School Zone Lawyers

Attorneys for Drunk Driving Defense in Camden County and South Jersey

A driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge under any circumstances is serious, as these motor vehicle offenses are among the most vigorously prosecuted in New Jersey Municipal Courts. However, charges for driving under the influence (DUI) become even more grave if the alleged offense occurs in a school zone. In fact, New Jersey DWI law addresses DWI in a School Zone in a separate section of the statute, which can be found in N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g). This is a distinct offense, which means that a person can actually be charged with DWI and DWI in a school zone in connection with the same incident. In other words, you may be subject to the penalties associated with each offense if you are ultimately found guilty. Unfortunately, the consequences of DWI in a School Zone are essentially double those of a typical first offense, second offense, or third offense DWI, which is why it is essential to have a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney aggressively defending you throughout the legal process. William Fay is a skilled criminal and DWI defense lawyer who has achieved countless successful results for clients throughout Camden County, Burlington County and South Jersey. With previous experience in prosecution with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Mr. Fay and his team pursue every available avenue to get DWI charges dismissed. For a free consultation about your DWI in a school zone case, contact our offices anytime at 609-832-3202 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free appointment.

New Jersey DWI in a School Zone Law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-50g

New Jersey’s Driving While Intoxicated Statute 39:4-50, states that a person is considered “driving under the influence” if they operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more, or allow another person to do so in motor vehicle owned by them or under their control. Subsection (g) goes on to define DWI in a School Zone as a violation of this section when it occurs:

  • 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;
  • Driving through a school crossing as defined in R.S.39:1-1 if the municipality, by ordinance or resolution, has designated the school crossing as such; or
  • Driving through a school crossing as defined in R.S.39:1-1 knowing that juveniles are present if the municipality has not designated the school crossing as such by ordinance or resolution

The prosecution may use a map or true copy of a map depicting the location and boundaries of the area on or within 1,000 feet of any property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board produced pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35-7) to prosecute a person under this section.

What is Considered a School Zone in an NJ DUI Case?

In order to secure a conviction for DWI in a school zone, the prosecution is required to prove that you were operating a motor vehicle intoxicated or under the influence of drugs through a school crossing or within 1000 feet of school zone or property used for school purposes. In order words, you can be charged with school zone DWI for driving in the vicinity of municipal fields used by schools for sporting events or similar buildings, offices, etc. Notably, the policy for DUI in a school zone is “strict liability,” which it is not considered a valid defense that a person was unaware they were in a school zone, or that there were no children present at the time the DUI occurred.

Penalties for a School Zone DWI Charge in New Jersey

The penalties for DWI in a school zone have several components: jail time, driver’s license suspension, fines, and community service. For a first offense DWI in a School Zone, the penalties are as follows:

  • Fine: $500 to $800
  • Jail time: up to 60 days
  • License Suspension: 1 to 2 years

For a second DUI in a school zone, the penalties increase to the following:

  • Fine: $1,000 to $2,000
  • Community service: 60 days
  • Jail time: mandatory minimum of 96 consecutive hours, maximum of 180 days
  • License suspension: 4 years

If you are convicted of school zone DWI for a third time, the punishments include:

  • Fine: $2,000
  • Jail time: 180 days in a county jail or workhouse (90 days can be served in drug or alcohol inpatient rehabilitation program if approved by the court)
  • License suspension: 20 years

Pennsauken NJ School Zone DUI Lawyers Provide Free Consultations

If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving in a school zone or a similar offense in Camden County or elsewhere in South Jersey, our criminal defense law firm is here to assist you. Call today for a free consultation with an experienced DWI defense attorney. We can be reached anytime at 609-832-3202.

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