A charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is always serious, a charge of DWI in a school zone is more serious still. While such charges come with considerable financial burdens, they can also leave you with a suspended driver’s license. If you’re charged with a DWI in a school zone, it’s a separate offense from the underlying DWI. In other words, if you’re convicted, you’ll face two separate sentences that will run consecutively (one after the other). Always take these charges very seriously, and consult with an experienced attorney.

DWI in a school zone

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New Jersey DWI Charges

When it comes to DWI charges, New Jersey means business. If you drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.08 percent or higher, you’re over the limit. New Jersey’s penalties for DWI represent whether the offense is your first violation, and if it’s not, on how many other DWI offenses you have on your record. For every DWI conviction, however, New Jersey effects mandatory fees, mandatory license suspension, and the potential for jail time. All these consequences are harsher when the charge is DWI in a school zone.

DWI in a School Zone: Enhanced Penalties

The penalties for a DWI offense (or refusing testing) in a school zone are considered enhanced penalties, and they are significant:

  • First Offense

A first offense comes with up to 60 days in county jail, a mandatory loss of your driver’s license (from one to two years), and a fine of from $600 to $1,000.

  • Second Offense

A second offense effects a mandatory county jail stay (from between 4 and 180 days), a mandatory four-year loss of your driver’s license, and a fine of from $1,000 to $2,000.

  • Third Offense

A third offense requires a mandatory 180-day stay in county jail, a mandatory 10-year loss of your driver’s license, and a $2,000 fine.

Again, a DWI in a school zone charge is separate from the underlying DWI charge, and these enhanced penalties are in addition to the penalties you’ll receive for the DWI.

The School Zone

To be convicted of a DWI in a school zone, the court is required to prove that – at the time you were driving while intoxicated – you were within 1,000 feet of school property or you drove through a school crossing. A school zone isn’t necessarily the area surrounding a school, however. In fact, it can be the area around any property that is used for school purposes or that’s owned or leased by an elementary school, a secondary school, or a school board.

If You’re Facing Charges for DWI in a School Zone, call 732-238-8686 Today

New Jersey DWI charges are serious. Charges of DWI in a school zone are more serious still. David C. Barry, Attorney at Law has the experience, skill, and dedication to advocate for your case’s best possible resolution. If you need an experienced lawyer, David’s here to help. Please contact or call David today at 732-238-8686.