New Jersey takes driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and drugs very seriously—so much so that it even imposes criminal liability on others who allow a person to drive while intoxicated under certain circumstances. If this comes as a surprise to you or if you were recently charged with allowing another person to drive while intoxicated, continue reading to understand what to expect under New Jersey law. For additional information about your specific allowing DWI charges, contact the attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law in Cranford anytime at (908) 838-0150 or send us a message. We provide consultations at no cost and will be happy to discuss your case.
When Can You Be Charged With Allowing Another Person to Drive While Intoxicated in NJ?
In New Jersey, you can be charged with a DWI offense if you permit another person to drive while they are legally intoxicated. To be considered intoxicated in New Jersey, a driver must have a blood alcohol level at or above 0.08%. A three-part test is applied to determine when someone “permits” another to drive while they are intoxicated. A person will be found to have permitted this action if they: (1) knew or should have known that the driver was intoxicated; (2) had custody or control of the vehicle; and (3) allowed the individual to drive the vehicle.
So, if you are spending the evening with a person who you observe consuming multiple alcoholic beverages and you allow them to drive your vehicle or a vehicle you borrowed and have control over, you will likely be found to have permitted the person to drive while intoxicated and be subject to the potential penalties. This can happen when friends go out drinking in a group, determine that one individual is less intoxicated than the others, and decide that person should be the one to drive. It also commonly occurs when a married or dating couple is in a vehicle and the driver is intoxicated. Regardless of whether the individual charged with permitting another person to drive drunk is intoxicated themselves, if they meet the requirements of the three-part test, they may be charged with this offense in New Jersey.
What Are the Penalties for Allowing a DUI in New Jersey?
The penalties for allowing another person to drive your vehicle while intoxicated in New Jersey are the same as if you yourself were driving while intoxicated yourself. If it is your first offense, you will face possible imprisonment of up to 30 days and have your license revoked for a period ranging from 3 months to 1 year. For your second offense, you will face possible imprisonment of 48 hours to 90 days, be ordered to serve up to 30 days of community service, and automatically have your license revoked for 2 years, if the second offense is committed within 10 years of your first offense. Third time DUI offenders face heavy penalties of imprisonment of up to 180 days, up to 90 days of community service, and a mandatory license suspension of 10 years.
Allowing DWI Defense Lawyers in Cranford NJ
If you have been charged with allowing another person to drive while intoxicated in Union County, New Jersey, it is very important to find an experienced DUI defense lawyer to represent you. This charge should not be taken lightly, as the penalties for allowing another person to drive your vehicle (or a vehicle you have custody or control over) are the same as if you were driving while intoxicated yourself. Losing your license can make it extremely difficult to fulfill your daily responsibilities and obligations like getting to work, getting to school, picking up your children, and having a social life. For a free consultation, contact our experienced Union DUI defense lawyers to review your case: (908) 838-0150.