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DWI reminder proposed in Trenton

A New Jersey assemblywoman has proposed that patrons in our state's bars and restaurants get a written reminder of the state's DWI laws and the consequences for being convicted of breaking it.

The law would require the businesses to post reminders in their restrooms, as well as near their exits and entrances, explaining the penalties for being convicted of driving while intoxicated.

Any business that fails to put the notices in the designated spots could be fined $50, according to news reports.

The assemblywoman wants bar and restaurant patrons to understand New Jersey's "very strict laws against drunk driving," she said.

Penalties for a first DWI offense include up to 30 days in jail, a fine of $400 and a three-month driver's license suspension. Drivers also face a mandatory 12 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and an auto insurance surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years.

Those stiff penalties get even harsher for subsequent convictions.

In related news, a driving service that helps people who suspect (or know) that they're too intoxicated to drive legally is opening franchises across New Jersey.

StearClear received a $600,000 investment last month enabling it to open multiple franchises.

The first franchise opened in Ridgewood back in July. It provides approximately eight to 12 rides to potentially DWI drivers per week, according to a newspaper report.

Though the Wyckoff-based company isn't yet profitable, its CEO says, it's making progress toward that goal.

The company claims that more than 1,000 people in Bergen County have downloaded the company's app and used its service since late August.

The company apparently hopes to have a franchise open in Mercer County before the end of the year.

For those facing a DWI charge, the penalties are indeed harsh. Many facing those penalties explore their legal options with an experienced criminal defense attorney before discussing the matter with prosecutors or police.

Source: New Jersey 101.5, "'Last Call to Stop Drunk Driving' Proposed in Trenton," Oct. 22, 2012

  • Our New Jersey firm represents clients accused of DWI and other criminal charges. For more information, visit our Trenton criminal defense page.

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