DWI in a School Zone in NJ

DWI in a School Zone Hamilton NJ

New Jersey lawmakers have gone to great lengths to protect children against the dangers posed by drunk driving. As a result, DWI offenses tend to be severely prosecuted. In fact, NJ prosecutors often use a DWI in a School Zone charge as leverage to get the defendant to plead guilty to the underlying DWI charge. However, before pleading guilty to any drunk driving violation, you should always speak to an experienced Driving While Intoxicated lawyer about your legal options.

Princeton School Zone DUI Lawyers

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a highly respected law firm with more than 40 years of experience handling DWI cases in Mercer County, NJ, including Robbinsville, Princeton, and Lawrence. Our legal team includes a New Jersey Certified Trial Attorney and an NJ “Super Lawyer, so we know how to get the job done if your DWI in a School Zone or Refusal in a School Zone case goes to trial. Call KCR today to discuss your charges.

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

DWI school zone violations are governed by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g). The statute imposes enhanced penalties under certain circumstances:

  1. DWI on any elementary or secondary school property used for school purposes
  2. DWI within 1,000 feet of school property
  3. Intoxicated driving through a designated school crossing
  4. Intoxicated driving in an area where juveniles are crossing, even if the area has not been officially designated as a school crossing

Since school zones in New Jersey are defined very broadly, charges for DWI in a School Zone are extremely common. Even a DWI near school property that is situated far away from an actual school can bring about school zone charges. Additionally, it won’t matter that your DWI occurred when the school was closed and no schoolchildren were present because school zones are protected areas at all times; nor will it matter that you did not realize you were driving in a school zone because DWI in a School Zone is a strict liability offense in New Jersey.

Enhanced Penalties for DUI in a Mercer County School Zone

Basically, the penalties for a DWI offense are doubled if the offense occurred near a school. The specific penalties vary, with repeat offenders being subject to the most severe consequences.

First Offense:

Second Offense:

  • Jail: 4–180 days
  • Driver’s License Suspension: 4 years
  • Fine: $1,000–$2,000
  • MVC Surcharges: $1,000 per year for 3 years
  • Alcohol Education: IDRC classes and treatment, at discretion of judge
  • Community Service: 60 days
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Must be installed on all motor vehicles for 1–3 years

Third Offense:

  • Jail: 180 days
  • Driver’s License Suspension: 20 years
  • Fine: $2,000
  • MVC Surcharges: $1,500 per year for 3 years
  • Alcohol Education: IDRC classes and treatment, at discretion of judge
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Must be installed on all motor vehicles for 1–3 years

However, the enhanced penalties for subsequent offenses apply only if the earlier offenses were also School Zone violations. Otherwise, the school zone violation is treated as a first offense.

Contact Ewing DWI Defense Attorneys

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson can help you win your case. We always seek the best possible outcome for our clients, which is why our attorneys will take the time to investigate your DWI in a School Zone charges and figure out the best strategy. Call us today, or email us to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Pennington or Trenton.

Contact Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson

The experienced lawyers you can trust. We focus on success and get results. That’s why we’ve been trusted by clients for over 40 years.

Let us help you navigate your legal challenges.
Call (609) 528-2596 or (215) 337-4915 or send us an email. We're here when you need us.