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Driving While Impaired

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

The Bridgewater Police Department is active in preventing drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We take DWI very seriously and have a zero-tolerance for any offender. We conduct various DWI supplemental patrols using grant money from the state and federal government.

Please read below for information on the penalties of DWI:

In New Jersey, a person is guilty of drunk driving if he/she operates a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. BAC refers to the amount of alcohol in your blood. Although the law refers to a 0.08 percent BAC, you can be convicted of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor even when your BAC is below 0.08 percent. Consuming even small amounts of alcohol dulls the senses, decreases reaction time, and hampers judgement, vision and alertness. If you consume any amount of alcohol and your driving is negatively impacted, you can be convicted of drunk driving.

FIRST OFFENSE, UNDER 0.10% B.A.C.: Fines of $250 to $400, imprisonment for up to 30 days, 3 month driver’s license suspension, 6 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, and an automobile insurance surcharge of $1000/year for 3 years.Under New Jersey Law (P.L. 2003, CHAPTER 314), if an offender’s BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, but less than 0.10 percent, or if an offender permits another person with a BAC over 0.08 percent, but less than 0.10 percent to operate a motor vehicle, the penalties are:

FIRST OFFENSE, 0.10% B.A.C. OR HIGHER, OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS:  Fines of $300 to $500, imprisonment for up to 30 days, 7 month driver’s license suspension, 6 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, and an automobile insurance surcharge of $1000/year for 3 years.

SECOND OFFENSE:  Fines of $500 to $1000, imprisonment for up to 90 days, 2 year driver’s license suspension, 48 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, and an automobile insurance surcharge of $1000/year for 3 years.

THIRD AND SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES:  Fines of $500 to $1000, Imprisonment for up to 180 days, 10 year driver’s license suspension, detainment in an in-patient alcohol treatment program, and an automobile insurance surcharge of $1500/year for 3 years.

EVERY OFFENSE ALSO CARRIES:  $100 surcharge to the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund, an Intoxicated Driving Program fee of $100, a MVC license restoration fee of $50, a Violent Crime Compensation Fund fee of $50, and a Safe and Secure Community Program fee of $75.

Parents and Guardians: A parent or guardian who is convicted of driving while intoxicated and had a passenger in the motor vehicle 17 years of age or younger, is also guilty of a disorderly persons offense. In addition, a person forfeits the right to operate a motor vehicle for a maximum of six months and must perform community service for up to five days.

Consequences of Underage Drinking and Driving: In New Jersey, you must be at least 21 years of age to purchase, possess or consume alcoholic beverages. Underage drinking is illegal and can have severe consequences for young people who drink and for adults who provide alcoholic beverages to those under 21. If you are under 21 and buy or drink alcohol in a place with an alcohol beverage license, you may be fined $500 and lose your driver license for 6 months. If you do not have your driver license, the suspension starts when you are first eligible to receive a license. Also you may be required to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program. If you are under 21, drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system (.01 BAC or above), and are convicted for violating New Jersey’s zero tolerance law, the penalties are:

  • Loss or postponement of driving privileges for 30 to 90 days
  • 15 to 30 days of community service
  • Participation in an alcohol and traffic safety education program

 

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