New Jersey takes a harsh stance against persons who act carelessly, recklessly or against the law in a school zone. If an officer stops you in a school zone and suspects you are intoxicated, you face hefty charges and penalties.
The penalties associated with driving drunk in a school zone include fines, jail times, license revocation and more. NJ.gov explains what it means to drive intoxicated in a school zone, as well as what consequences you can expect from a conviction.
Driving while intoxicated in a school zone
Per state law, an officer may charge you with driving while intoxicated in a school zone if you have a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or greater, and if the violation involves one of the following three factors:
- Driving on school property that the school uses for school purposes, or you were within 1,000 feet of said property
- Driving through a designated school crossing
- Driving through an undesignated school crossing that you know juveniles use for crossing purposes.
If any of these elements apply to your stop, you may face enhanced DWI charges.
Penalties for driving while intoxicated in a school zone
Driving in a school zone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol warrants enhanced penalties. For example, a first-time standard DWI offense would not typically result in jail time. The associated fine would be between $250 and $400. The license suspension would last for three months, and you would likely not have to serve community service.
However, if your first offense occurs in a school zone, you are unlikely to get off so lightly. You may face up to 60 days in jail and have to pay a fine of between $500 and $800. The judge would have to suspend your license for no less than one year but not more than two.
Regardless of where your DWI stop occurs, a conviction can have drastic negative consequences on your life. For this reason, you should take steps to reduce the chances of a conviction right away.