Saint Patricks Day – The Police Will Be Ready To Make Arrest

Underage DrinkingMarch 17th is Saint Patrick’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate Irish culture but for many, it’s also an excuse for drinking without limits. Drunk driving and violence is certainly a big concern for police on this holiday. The police will be looking to arrest those who are breaking the law.

In New Jersey, in addition to Driving under the Influence (DUI) (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50), Possession of Open or Unsealed Alcoholic Beverage Containers (N.J.S.A. 39:4-51B) by motor vehicle occupants is also an offense. The driver as well as all the passengers can be charged even if they were not actually drinking. This offense is punishable with a fine of $200 for first time offenders. For repeat offenders, the penalty is a fine of $250 or court ordered community service. However, this Open Container Law has certain exceptions and there will be no charges, if the container is found in the trunk of the vehicle, behind the last upright seat of a trunkless vehicle or in the living quarters of a motor home or house trailer. There are also exemptions for passengers of chartered buses and limo services.

Alcohol consumption does not just give rise to road safety issues, but it can also lead to inappropriate behavior and violence by individuals under the influence. Under New Jersey law, an individual can be charged for disorderly conduct for a variety of reasons including fighting or using offensive language in public. Simple assault charges can be pursued if the individual injures another person knowingly, purposely or recklessly. An attempt to cause such injury is also a ground for filing this charge. Simple assault charges can also be based on negligently causing injury with a deadly weapon or by acting in a manner that puts another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. It should also be noted that depending on the factors involved, such as seriousness of the victim’s injury and use of a weapon, instead of Simple Assault, the charges against the offending individual could be escalated to Aggravated Assault.

Arrest for Driving While Intoxicated In New Jersey

Those driving impaired by alcohol or drugs face Driving While Intoxicated (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50) charges:

• Person operates a motor vehicle or permits another to operate a motor vehicle
• While under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, or habit producing drug
– Defined as: a substantial deterioration or diminution of the mental faculties or physical capabilities.
– State may convict based solely on observation evidence of motorist

• Or while the operator has a blood alcohol concentration
– of 0.08% or more, but less than 0.10%
– of 0.10% or more

Arrest for Driving Or Riding With An Open Container In NJ

The Open Container Law in New Jersey is based on N.J.S.A. 39:4-51b:

“6.a. All occupants of a motor vehicle located on a public highway, or the right-of-way of a public highway, shall be prohibited from possessing any open or unsealed alcoholic beverage container. This subsection shall not apply to a passenger of a charter or special bus operated as defined under R.S.48:4-1 or a limousine service.
b. A person shall not be deemed to be in possession of an opened or unsealed alcoholic beverage container pursuant to this section if such container is located in the trunk of a motor vehicle, behind the last upright seat in a trunkless vehicle, or in the living quarters of a motor home or house trailer. For the purposes of this section, the term “open or unsealed” shall mean a container with its original seal broken or a container such as a glass or cup.
c. For a first offense, a person convicted of violating this section shall be fined $200 and shall be informed by the court of the penalties for a second or subsequent violation of this section. For a second or subsequent offense, a person convicted of violating this section shall be fined $250 or shall be ordered by the court to perform community service for a period of 10 days in such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances.”

Arrest for Disorderly Conduct In Monmouth or Ocean Counties

The New Jersey law governing Disorderly Conduct is embodied in N.J.S.A. 2C. 33:2:

“a. Improper behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he
(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or
(2) Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
b. Offensive language. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing, he addresses unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.
“Public” means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a substantial group has access; among the places included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, or any neighborhood.”

Arrest for Simple Assault At The Jersey Shore

Simple Assault falls under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1a:

“Simple assault. A person is guilty of assault if he: (1)Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or (2)Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or (3)Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense unless committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense.”

Should I Hire An Attorney If Charged?

You should most definitely retain a criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested and face any of the above charges. These are all serious accusations with serious penalties and should not be taken lightly. If charged with any of these offense, call Villani & DeLuca immediately. The first consultation is absolutely FREE. We represent clients across New Jersey from Red Bank and Belmar to Seaside Heights and Brick. Call today at 732-965-3350 to speak with one of our defense attorneys.