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Can You be Charged with a DWI When Not Driving?

Posted by Carmine R. Villani | Aug 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

Intoxicated Woman Sleeping in Car

Perhaps you lost your wallet at Martell's Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant Beach on a Friday night? Or maybe you missed the train to get home from Bar Anticipation in Lake Como. Either way, when options are limited, the car seat seems comfortable enough go to sleep- especially when you're intoxicated. But the location of the driver can make a difference. It is not uncommon for people to be arrested for a DWI when not driving the car. Which is why a good defense is critical. Never plead guilty to a DWI or DWI charge without first contacting a DWI Lawyer in NJ.

DWI Charge When Not Actually Driving a Vehicle

Convictions for a drinking and driving violations in New Jersey carry severe penalties that will affect an individual's future immediately and for many years down the road. DWI Penalties in New Jersey include loss of your license, hefty fines, jail sentence, ignition interlock device installation, community service and more depending on the BAC level and whether it is your first, second, third or subsequent DWI violation. A DWI arrest can be frightening and especially confusing if you received the DWI charge when you weren't even driving your vehicle at the time of the arrest.

Defending DWI N.J.S.A. 39-4-50

The guidelines for “operating a vehicle” are strict and defined in the New Jersey Statute N.J.S.A. 39-4-50; many people assume that drunk driving laws only apply to those who are actually driving a vehicle, though that is not the only case in New Jersey. Police will take into account the location of the driver (was he/she sitting in the driver's seat or the back seat?), the location of the car keys (were the keys in the ignition or still in the pocket?) and where the car is located (was the car parked on the side of the Garden State Parkway or still in the parking lot of the bar?).
Did you know that you could also be arrested for a DWI even if you are not driving? If you let another person drive your car and you know that that person is drunk, then New Jersey law says that you, too, can be convicted of a DWI. This is commonly known as “allowing.” NJ has made this law to punish people who put drunk drivers on the road just the same as the drunk drivers themselves.

Get Home Safely: Download the Free Villani & DeLuca DWI iPhone App

Villani & DeLuca is proud to announce that they have developed the first New Jersey DWI iPhone application in the state. Download the free DWI app which includes the following features:
• Call a taxi based on your current location for a safe ride home;
• Calculate NJ moving violation points;
• Learn about the penalties for DWI/DUI/Refusal in NJ for 1st, 2nd and 3rd offenses;
• DWI Facts and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's);
• Submit ticket/summons to the Villani & DeLuca law firm;
• Immediately request a free consultation with one of our experienced DWI/DUI defense lawyers

Contact an Experienced DWI Lawyer in New Jersey for Help

If you or a loved one was found asleep in your car and have been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Everyone's situation is different, and there are a number of challenges to drunk driving charges that an experienced NJ DUI lawyer can investigate. The lawyers at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. know exactly what to do to defend your case; we can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 732-709-7757. Call today for a free consultation on how to protect your rights.

About the Author

Carmine R. Villani

Founding partner, Carmine Villani, Esq. is a former municipal prosecutor with over three decades of experience in Criminal and DWI Defense.


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