Operating your motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense that carries stiff penalties in the State of New Jersey. While most are aware of this, many are uninformed on how the law punishes individuals who allow someone else to operate their vehicle while under the influence. While this might come as a surprise to most people, as many only think the driver is at risk of being charged with DWI, the law allows the owner of a vehicle to be charged for knowingly allowing an intoxicated person to drive.
In the state of New Jersey, if you are caught operating your motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% or higher, you are per se driving while impaired (DWI). Additionally, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 says that if your BAC level is .08 but less .10 percent, “or if an offender permits another person with a BAC over .08 percent, but less than .10 percent to operate a motor vehicle” they are subject to the following penalties when it is their first offense:
- Paying a fine of $250-$400.
- Having their license suspended for three months.
- Being imprisoned for up to 30 days.
- Having to spend a minimum of six hours a day for two consecutive days in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
- Having to pay an automobile surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years.
In the event the offender’s BAC level is .10% or higher, or they are found guilty of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a “narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug or permits another person with a BAC of .10 percent to operate a motor vehicle,” they will face the following penalties:
- Having to pay a fine of $300-$500.
- Serving a jail sentence of up to 30 days.
- Having their license suspended for a period of seven months or up to one year.
- Spend a minimum of six hours a day for two consecutive days at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
- Having to satisfy a $1,000 automobile surcharge each year for three years.
In the event the offenders BAC level was .15 percent or higher, he or she is required to have an ignition interlock device installed inside any vehicle they operate during the license suspension period and for a period of six months to one year after having their driving privileges restored.
Were you charged with DWI after allowing someone else with a BAC level of .08 or higher operate your motor vehicle in Newark, NJ?
Do you know someone who was recently jailed for driving while impaired?
If you answered yes to either question, contact Newark, NJ DWI defense lawyer Eric M. Mark today. The quicker you retain a lawyer to defend your rights and freedom, the quicker we can begin working on your case and determining if, and how, we can get your charges reduced or dropped. Whether you were the one who was arrested for DWI in Newark or you are seeking a lawyer on behalf of a friend or family member, call our office now for some expert legal advice.
The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is located at:
201 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102