New Jersey DUI Attorney Discusses Multiple Simultaneous Convictions for DUI/DWI

New Jersey DUI-DWIAlthough it is unlikely, there are rare times when a driver must face charges for multiple drunk driving offenses at the same time. This can result from a variety of circumstances. As a law firm specializing in drunk driving defense, we here at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog are prepared to help regardless of how unlikely the situation. Successfully defending against DWI charges may result in a reduction of the penalties or can result in having the charges dismissed altogether.

When Multiple Simultaneous Convictions for Drunk Driving Can Occur

First, if a driver drives continuously through various towns and municipalities, he or she may be charged independently in each one of them with a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 – Driving While Intoxicated. A driver in this situations should immediately seek the advice of counsel, because the State of New Jersey treats “one continuous uninterrupted episode of driving while intoxicated” as a single offense, not multiple offenses. Therefore, if an individual receives multiple charges of DUI/DWI during one continuous course of conduct, it is properly addressed as sentenced as a single offense in court, and an experienced attorney may be able to have some of the charges dismissed.

A second set of circumstances that might lead to simultaneous convictions for drunk driving arises when a driver is arrested twice for drunk driving in a very short period of time. This is typically within the same day or night, but it can sometimes occur over a longer period of time. Usually, the picture looks something like this. A driver is arrested a first time for drunk driving, then processed and released. Following his or her release, the driver is still drunk and tries to get behind the wheel of another vehicle. Once again, the driver is found driving under the influence and re-arrested and charged a second time later that same day. This should not happen because drivers are typically not allowed to immediately operate their vehicles after being arrested for driving under the influence. However, there have been numerous reported cases of this happening in just the last year.

Sentencing on Multiple Simultaneous Convictions for Drunk Driving

If you or someone you know is charged with any driving while intoxicated related charge, it is important to seek the advice of a good lawyer as soon as possible. If a driver decides to plead guilty to multiple drunk driving offenses at the same time, sentencing consequences can be complicated and in some cases, severe. In other areas of the law, defendants are typically able to argue to a Judge that they should receive identical treatment on both offenses if they are pleading guilty to two offenses at the same time. This, however, is not true specifically for drunk driving convictions. Unlike other areas of the law, the New Jersey Supreme Court has specifically stated that New Jersey’s drunk driving statutes are primarily punishment oriented, rather than concerned with rehabilitation. Moreover, statutes that are punishment oriented do not require the same type of sentencing treatment as other statutes, meaning defendants can receive different sentences on each of the offenses despite pleading to both at the same time.

For example, if a defendant is pleading guilty to both his first and second DUI offenses simultaneously, he or she can be punished as a second-time offender on one of the DUI offenses, even though he or she had no previous DUI convictions before the court date. The same would be true of an individual pleading to his second and third DUI offenses; he would be sentenced as a third-time offender on one of the offenses. This is extremely important as the differences in sentencing between a first, second, and third time offender is substantial. A second, third, or fourth time offender faces much greater potential fines, mandatory jail sentences and terms of mandatory loss of driving privileges. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the penalties you may be facing.

How an Attorney Can Help

If you are facing multiple DUI/DWI charges, an experienced DUI attorney can help you understand your rights and the potential consequences of multiple charges, especially when it comes to sentencing. A good lawyer will also be able to present the best defense in your favor and may even be able to have the charges against you dropped. Whether you are sentenced as a first, second or third time offender can make a huge difference in terms of jail time, period of license suspension, and fines.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Is Ready, No Matter How Rare the Circumstances

A DUI/DWI conviction means serious penalties that will affect you and your loved ones. For that reason, it is important to consult a drunk driving lawyer who knows how to help. If you or someone you know is charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence of any substance in New Jersey, an experienced DWI/DUI attorney can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Attorney Discusses Prom Season, Graduation, Summer, and the Extreme Consequences of Underage Drinking

New Jersey Drunk Driving AttorneyProm season and graduation season are here and the New Jersey police are taking underage drinking seriously this year. With prom underway, graduation nearing, and the excitement of summer vacation and college freedom looming, it’s not consider the dangers associated with this behavior, drinking alcohol before the age of 21 is illegal in the Garden State. But as with many laws, there will always be those who decide to risk it, and many teens don’t always think before taking every action.

With this in mind, police departments across the state are gearing up to ensure the safety of high school students during these annual occasions. This includes generally being on high alert for young drivers, as well as DWI checkpoints. For example, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Crash Investigations Unit is setting up DUI/DWI checkpoints at random that will pop up from now through the end of June. Additionally, law enforcement will be on the lookout for underage drinkers at places like the Jersey Shore, which are especially popular amongst teens at this time of year while off from school.

At the same time, we at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog are also aware of the serious consequences associated with drinking and driving, especially for drivers who are underage. For that reason, we always recommend that anyone who is charged with driving while intoxicated consult with an experienced New Jersey DWI and drug DUI defense attorney, who has the knowledge and motivation to help.

New Jersey’s Zero-Tolerance Policy

New Jersey takes underage drinking very seriously. Indeed, if you are found driving under the influence of alcohol on prom night, you can expect a zero-tolerance policy. In New Jersey, the legal definition of intoxication for an underage driver is a blood alcohol level of.01%. A teen driver can be prosecuted even if his alcohol level is below the .08% legal limit allowed for adult drivers.

Part of the reason for this increased enforcement is because vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for young people aged 12 to 19. In particular, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 1,000 youth under age 21 die each year in preventable tragedies while celebrating their high school proms and graduations. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the months of April through June are some of the most dangerous times of the year for teens, with nearly one-third of alcohol-related teen motor vehicle deaths occurring between these months.

Therefore, the State of New Jersey is looking to combat these numbers by escalating police presence of DUI checkpoints from now through the end of June, and until the end of summer at places like the shore.

Legal Consequences of Underage Drinking and Driving

Even if you are underage and it is your first offense, a DWI conviction could mean the loss of your license for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 90 days. You may also be sentenced to community service for a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of 30 days. Persons below the age of 21 convicted of DUI in New Jersey will also be required to undertake a highway safety program or pay fees and penalties as prescribed by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. Additionally, your car will be impounded, making it difficult to get to school or work. You may also face insurance rate increases and legal fees that cost thousands of dollars to resolve.

Not to mention, a DUI/DWI conviction will go on your record. Unfortunately, many teens don’t grasp the seriousness of this offense. They don’t realize that you may be required to disclose it on college applications, future job applications and even for financial aid requests. A drunk driving conviction could also make you permanently ineligible for certain jobs in the future.

If you decided to drink and drive before the age of 21, it may seem like a small decision at the time, but the consequences of a DUI conviction can last a lifetime.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Defends Underage Drivers Accused of Driving While Intoxicated

If you, your child, or anyone else has been charged with underage drinking, it is extremely important to contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney who can answer all your questions and help defend you against potentially life-altering consequences. You do not need to face these battles alone. A knowledgeable drunk driving lawyer can review the evidence against you and present the best case in your defense. A good DUI attorney can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

Your Right to an Independent Blood Alcohol Test


In New Jersey, if you are pulled over and the officer suspects you were driving drunk, he or she may use a breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC), which can be used as evidence against you if you are later charged for DUI/DWI. Police stations across the state use a machine called the Alcotest 7110 MK-IIIC to measure your BAC and determine whether or not you are at or over the legal limit of .08%.

Importantly, many drivers do not know that if you submit to a breathalyzer test, you also have the right to an independent test of your urine, blood, or breath sample. If your BAC results are close to .08%, an independent test can show that the breathalyzer results were inaccurate and you were actually below the legal limit for drunk driving. Similarly, the law requires that you be informed of your right to an independent chemical test, and, if you can prove that the government failed to inform you of this right, you may be able to have the breathalyzer evidence thrown out.

As always, challenging the evidence against you in a DUI/DWI trial can be very complicated, and it is important to retain an experienced drunk driving lawyer if you or a loved one is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in order to ensure that the best defense is presented on your behalf.

Your Legal Right to an Independent Breath, Blood, or Urine Test

N.J.S.A. 39:4–50.2 establishes that drunk driving is a quasi-crime, and a driver who is suspected of drunk driving does not have a right to refuse to provide a breath sample (as discussed previously in this blog). At the same time, if a police officer decides a driver must provide a breath sample for the purposes of determining BAC, N.J.S.A. 39:4–50.2 also provides the same driver with the right to have a person or physician of the driver’s own choosing perform an independent breath, urine, and blood test. This protects the driver’s rights and helps to ensure that any BAC test performed by the police is accurate.

Learning About Your Right to an Independent Test

New Jersey law actually states that a defendant must be informed of his or her right to an independent test by the police officer who orders the breath test. Of course, this is limited to situations in which the individual is required to provide a breath sample, and there is no equivalent requirement in the event that BAC is calculated based on a blood sample.

In practice, police officers in most police stations will read a series of pre-printed paragraphs to any driver who is being asked to provide a breath sample. These paragraphs generally include a statement – referred to in many places as “paragraph 36” – that attempts to inform the driver of his or her right to obtain an independent test. The courts have considered this to be sufficient notice under the law.

If no notice is provided to a driver when he or she is asked to provide a breath sample, then an experienced attorney may be able to keep out any BAC evidence obtained by the police officers at the time of trial.

Having an Independent BAC Test Performed

The law does not require a police officer or a police station to have any established procedures to help a driver obtain an independent chemical test – however, the law is clear that police may not interfere with or thwart a suspect drunk driver’s attempt to exercise the right to independent examination.

Therefore, a driver is largely on his or her own with regard to obtain an independent chemical test. He or she may do this by contacting an attorney or family member who can help get an independent test done. In State v. Jalkiewicz, the court ruled that the police fulfilled its duty when it advised the defendant of his right to an independent test and then summoned a taxi cab for the driver.

At the same time, in State v. Bradley and State v. Nicastro, the court ruled that the government actively prevented suspected drunk drivers from exercising their rights to an independent BAC test when the police refused the drivers’ request to be taken to the hospital for an independent test and also refused the drivers’ request to call a taxi to take them to the hospital. In both of these cases, the court determined that the BAC test results taken by the police could not be used in court.

Finally, in State v. Greeley, the Supreme Court determined that if the police refuse a suspected drunk driver’s request for a taxi, there must be some means for the person to obtain an independent chemical test, such as being released into the custody of a family member or friend.

As in Bradley and Nicastro, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced attorney whenever you are charged or suspected of a DUI or DWI. An attorney can help provide the best defense in your case and ensure that your rights have not be violated.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Will Fight for Your Rights

If you or someone you know is charged or suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is extremely important to contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney who can explain what rights you have in your specific situation.  If you go to court, an experienced lawyer can also make sure you get the best result possible and can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer bout your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

New Jersey DUI Lawyer – Supreme Court Questions Whether Drivers Can Be Forced to Take a Breathalyzer Test Without a Warrant

Last month, the United States Supreme Court addressed whether police can require drivers to take a “deep-lung” breath test without a search warrant. Three cases out of Minnesota and North Dakota were joined and brought before the Court. These states have laws that make it a crime for drivers to refuse to take a breathalyzer, urine, or blood test. Eleven other states have similar laws, including Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. A majority of the justices questioned whether these laws criminalizing refusal are constitutional, in light of an individual’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Generally speaking, the police cannot search a driver or their car after an arrest without first getting a search warrant, unless it is for their own personal safety or to preserve evidence. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that police cannot conduct blood tests for drunken driving without first obtaining a warrant. However, some justices remain hesitant to apply the same rule to the breathalyzer test, because it is less intrusive than drawing blood.

Previously in North Dakota, refusal to submit to a chemical test carried only civil penalties, such as the suspension or revocation of one’s license. However in 2013, North Dakota lawmakers passed legislation to make penalties for drunk driving offenses more severe—in part by punishing a refusal to take a breathalyzer test in the same manner as it punishes the crime of driving under the influence.

The groups backing the states’ laws, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), have argued that when a person applies for a driver’s license, they give their implied consent to be subjected to a chemical test in the event that they are arrested for suspected drunk driving.

However, several groups backing the defendants, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DDLA), have argued that the government cannot criminalize conduct protected by the Fourth Amendment. One cannot truly give “implied consent” to take a breathalyzer test when they get their license if they know that they will face criminal sanctions for refusing to take the test. The DDLA argued that there are better ways to deter drunk driving, including creating an electronic warrant system, setting up sobriety checkpoints, providing alcohol abuse treatment, and requiring the use of ignition interlock devices for convicted drunk drivers.

So how did the justices come down on the issue? Justice Samuel Alito was the only justice who seemed to be strongly in favor of criminalizing refusal, and he emphasized that breathalyzer tests are only a minimal intrusion. He expressed that the only reason people don’t want to submit to a breathalyzer test is because they don’t want their blood alcohol measured, it is not that they object to blowing into a straw. Justice Kagan seemed to agree with this line of reasoning, noting that police have an interest in testing a driver’s breath as quickly as possible, before their blood alcohol content (BAC) goes down.

Ultimately, the states were unable to come up with a persuasive reason why police cannot secure a warrant while transporting suspects to the police station or hospital for testing. Forty states now utilize electronic warrant systems.

Although it is not a crime to refuse to take a breathalyzer test in New Jersey, there are harsh civil penalties, including fines, motor vehicles surcharges, a long suspension of driving privileges and special sentencing enhancements if the refusal occurs within a school zone. A refusal can also be used to draw an inference of guilt in a DUI trial. If you are pulled over in New Jersey for a suspected DUI, the police can detain you and bring you to a hospital where staff may draw blood.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Represents Drivers Who Have Refused Chemical Testing

If you were arrested for drunk driving and refused to submit to chemical testing, you are likely facing steep penalties. In addition to a DWI charge, you are probably also facing penalties for refusing to take the breathalyzer test. To speak to an experienced New Jersey DUI lawyer and begin building your defense, call the Law Office of Edward M. Janzekovich at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

New Jersey DUI – DWI Lawyer – Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

It is illegal to drive while high on marijuana (weed, pot, etc.) in New Jersey.  Although New Jersey does not have a specific law that addresses driving under the influence of marijuana, the same law that prohibits drunk driving (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, titled “Driving While Intoxicated”) applies to drugged driving offenses as well.  This law prohibits driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance, including narcotics, hallucinogens or even some over the counter medications.

How Do the Authorities Prove a Person is Under the Influence of Marijuana?

When a person is pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, they are given a breathalyzer test to determine their blood alcohol content.  So how does a police officer know whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana?  Usually, a driver will be asked to take a blood or urine test.  However, a positive drug test only indicates that there is marijuana in a person’s system at the time of the traffic stop—and marijuana can stay in a person’s system weeks after using it.  Therefore, if you are arrested for drugged driving, additional evidence is generally relied upon to prove the DUI in court.

If you go to trial for your DUI charge, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana.  This requires some expert testimony to establish that the drugs found in your system were not just residual, but actually rendered you impaired and unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.

In drugged driving cases, the general rule is that the accused must have been tested at the time of their arrest by a specially trained police officer referred to as a Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE”).  However, for marijuana cases, the prosecutor can establish intoxication through testimony of any police officer who has been trained in field sobriety and who has experience in identifying marijuana intoxication.  In such cases, an officer will testify that there was objective evidence that a driver’s physical or mental capabilities were impaired by the drug.  This testimony can be the State’s Achilles heel.  An experienced DWI lawyer may be able to have your charges either dismissed or downgraded by discrediting this testimony.

No Implied Consent for Blood or Urine Testing

In New Jersey, as a condition of receiving your driver’s license, you have agreed to take a breath test to determine the content of alcohol in your system if you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving.  This is known as “implied consent.”  If you refuse to take the test, you are subject to punishment including a loss of driving privileges.  But this law does not extend to drivers who are suspected of being under the influence of marijuana or other substances.  If you are pulled over and the police suspect that you are high on marijuana or some other substance, there are no penalties or sanctions if you refuse to submit to a blood or urine test.  Chemical testing for marijuana or any other substance is only performed on a voluntary basis or if a warrant has been issued by a judge.  First, the investigating officer would ask you for your consent to provide a urine or blood sample.  If you refuse, then the officer can attempt to obtain a warrant from a judge, based upon probable cause.  If a warrant is issued, then you have to comply.  It is amazing just how many people, knowing full well they have a substance in their system, agree to voluntarily submit to a blood or urine test.  Most people just don’t know they can say no.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

Penalty for a conviction will vary depending on whether you have ever been convicted of drugged driving in the past.

  • For a first conviction, drivers face a fine of between $300 and $500, up to 30 days in jail, and between seven months and one-year license suspension.
  • For a second conviction, drivers face a fine of between $500 and $1,000, 30 days community service, 2 to 90 days in jail, and a two-year license suspension.
  • For a third (or subsequent) conviction, drivers face fines up to $1,000, 180 days in jail, and a ten-year license suspension.

If you have been charged with drugged driving, you may also face additional penalties for related charges such as possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

What About Medical Marijuana?

Although New Jersey allows certain individuals to use medical marijuana, just like any other legally prescribed medication, it is still a crime to drive if one’s ability to safely drive a car is impaired by the drug.

Edward M. Janzekovich Defends People Charged with Marijuana DWI/DUI

If you were arrested for driving while impaired by marijuana, we can help.  Trusted New Jersey DWI lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich is available to answer your questions and discuss your best defense.  Call us today at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout New Jersey, including Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Lawyer – Truck Drivers and DUI

If your family relies on your New Jersey commercial driver’s license (CDL) for income, the consequences of a DUI conviction can be devastating.  Even if you are not on the job and just driving your own personal vehicle, a DUI conviction or refusal offense will result in a one-year mandatory CDL suspension (three years if the violation occurred in a HAZMAT truck).  You will also lose your basic license for three to 12 months.  Commercial truckers convicted of a DUI are unlikely to ever find work driving a truck again.  And if you are convicted of drunk driving a second time, your CDL will be permanently revoked and you will lose your basic drivers license for two years.  At the Law Office of Edward M. Janzekovich, our goal is always to avoid a conviction for our clients.

Driving a Commercial Truck Under the Influence

As you can see, New Jersey law is harsh when it comes to truckers who drive while intoxicated in their own cars.  So you can imagine how the law treats drivers who drink before getting behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle.  In 1990, the New Jersey Legislature cracked down on trucking safety and enacted the New Jersey Commercial Driver License Act.  Pursuant to the Act, it is illegal to operate a commercial motor vehicle in New Jersey with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more.  The legal limit for driving a passenger car in New Jersey is 0.08 percent.  This law aims to discourage truckers from consuming even small amounts of alcohol in an effort to reduce accidents and fatalities.

What is a “Commercial Motor Vehicle?”

So, it is illegal operate a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.04 percent.  What if you are pulled over your RV while on vacation with a BAC of 0.05 percent, will you be charged with drunk driving?  Although RVs are large enough to constitute a “commercial motor vehicle,” the law makes an exception for certain privately owned recreational vehicles.  The following vehicles, however, will all trigger the lower 0.04 percent BAC threshold:

  • School buses
  • Passenger buses (If used to transport passengers to and from places of employment on a daily basis, even a bus with seven passenger seats will qualify as a commercial vehicle. If used less frequently, any bus designed to transport 16 or more passengers will trigger the lower BAC threshold).
  • Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more
  • Trucks displaying hazardous material placards

“Operation” of a Commercial Motor Vehicle

Trucking is a more a lifestyle than a job.  In covering long distances, drivers often sleep in their cabs at truck stops.  In New Jersey, “operation” of a motor vehicle does not require that the truck actually be moving.  The prosecutor only needs to prove that a driver intended to put the vehicle in motion, and that it was possible that the truck could be moved.  Therefore, it is possible to be charged with a DUI in a truck stop parking lot even if you never leave your cab.

Out of State Convictions

If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated in another state, either in a truck or your personal vehicle, your New Jersey CDL will be suspended for one year.  If you are convicted a second time, your CDL will be permanently revoked.

New Jersey Commercial DWI Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Fights for Truck Drivers

If you are a commercial driver and you have been charged with a DUI, we understand the fear and anxiety you may be feeling.  Getting a DUI is a frightening experience for anyone, but for truckers, the stakes are even higher.  At the Law Office of Edward M. Janzekovich, we make it a priority to communicate with our clients.  We will explain what you can expect throughout the legal process and what your options are.  To speak to an experienced New Jersey DUI lawyer, call the Law Office of Edward M. Janzekovich at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

New Jersey DWI – DUI Lawyer – When Your Guests Drink and Drive

Imagine you have a small get together with your friends at your beach house rental, and you serve your guests alcohol.  Then imagine that one of your guests drinks a little too much, and continues to help herself to drinks even after you have observed her stumbling and slurring her words.  Later that night, she attempts to drive herself home, but collides with another car, severely injuring the other driver.  In New Jersey, the injured victim can collect damages from both you, the social host, and from your intoxicated guest who caused the accident.

This is because under New Jersey law, social hosts that serve alcoholic beverages to adult guests, knowing that they are intoxicated and will be driving, can be held liable for any injuries inflicted upon an innocent third party.  A social host is any person who invites another into their home and provides them with alcohol.  In order to be considered a social host, you need not give an express invitation—an implied invitation will suffice.  Social hosts can be held liable even when guests serve themselves at a party.  So-called “social host” laws are intended to prevent drunk driving and minimize fatalities.

Social host liability laws are derived from “dram shop” laws.  Dram shop laws enable injured victims to sue the bar when a visibly intoxicated patron was served prior to causing injury to a third party.  Many years ago, judges were exposing tavern owners to ever increasing liability by broadening the applicability of these laws on a case-by-case basis.  As a result, insurance premiums for bar owners skyrocketed.  In response, the New Jersey legislature enacted the Licensed Alcoholic Beverage Server Fair Liability Act in order to protect the rights of those who suffered losses as a result of the negligent serving of drinks.

Both social hosts and bar owners can be held liable for third party injuries, but the drunk driver can also be held liable.  This is because courts apply something called “comparative negligence” in apportioning liability.  This means that a jury will decide how much the social host (or bar owner) is to blame relative to the intoxicated driver.  One of the most hotly contested issues in these cases is how much the guest was able to appreciate the risk of harm while consuming alcohol at the party.  For example, if a host served his guests straight vodka, but described the drinks as light cocktails, the host may be responsible for paying a greater share of the compensation to any injured victims.

Social hosts that serve visibly intoxicated guests can be held liable for an injured third party’s:

  • Medical bills
  • Costs for rehabilitation and therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Value of household and childcare services the person otherwise would have performed had they not been injured
  • Loss of consortium to the injured party’s spouse

In New Jersey, those injured as a result of negligent serving of alcohol are also entitled to punitive damages.  Punitive damages are very high damage awards designed to punish particularly egregious behavior.

If you are planning a party, it is important to consider that your guests will need to get home safely.  If you see that one of your guests is visibly intoxicated, you should either invite them to spend the night, arrange for someone to drive them home, or as a last resort, involve the authorities.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Provides Experienced DWI – DUI Defense

If you have been charged with drunk driving, there are many issues to consider.  Not only will you need a skilled lawyer to defend you against criminal drunk driving charges, but you may also be facing civil liability if anyone has been injured.  Edward M. Janzekovich has vast experience defending people just like you who have been charged with DUI.  He understands the fear and anxiety you may be feeling, and strives to give each and every client peace of mind by explaining what to expect in simple terms.  To schedule a free consultation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout New Jersey, including Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.


New Jersey Drunk Driving Lawyer – What is the Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP)?

If you are convicted of a drug or alcohol related traffic offense in New Jersey, not only will you face fines, fees, surcharges, a loss of driving privileges, and installation of an ignition interlock device, but you will also be required to participate in a program at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).  This program consists of a series of classes intended to educate drivers and identify individuals who are at risk for drug addiction and alcoholism.  This mandatory program is called the Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP).

Where Is The Program Held?

The court will notify you when and where you need to go to report for your IDRC session.  New Jersey has an IDRC in every county for first and third-time offenders, and three regional centers for second-time offenders.  You will probably be required to attend IDRC classes in the county where you were convicted, and in the same town where the county court is located.

How Much Does the Program Cost?

When you are notified that your license has been suspended, you will owe additional fees to the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) and the IDRC for the classes, including the following charges:

  • $100 attendance fee (paid to the MVC)
  • $230 first-time offender fee (paid to the IDRC)
  • $280 second-time offender fee (paid to the IDRC)
  • $100 license restoration fee (paid to the MVC)

To check the latest information about IDRC fees and locations, see the State of New Jersey’s website here:

How Long Does the Program Take?

If you are a first-time offender, you will be required to complete a 12-hour course.  Classes are usually held on weekdays.

If you are a second-time offender, you must attend a 48-hour session.  The session is usually held while you are being detained overnight on the weekend.

If you are a third-time offender, you must take a 12-48 hour class while being detained.  During the course of your detainment, you will be assessed and referred for additional treatment to be completed when you have finished the IDRC program.

The IDRC has discretion to send any driver who requires additional treatment to a 16-week-long program.

What Will I Do in the IDP?

When beginning the IDP, you will first complete a questionnaire.  Then, you will attend a series of educational classes about drunk driving.  During these classes, you may have to watch graphic video of car accidents caused by drunk drivers.  The educational component also includes active discussion periods.  Topics include social drinking and problem drinking, the stages of alcoholism, how alcohol affects our families, jobs and relationships, and basics of New Jersey drunk driving law.

You will also be assigned to a counselor, who will assess your personal situation and determine whether you need additional assistance.  Depending on the outcome of your assessment, you may be referred for counseling, an addiction treatment program or mandatory support group attendance to address the problems that lead to your DWI conviction.

The IDRC may require monitored treatment or self-help group attendance for up to one year.  If you are referred for treatment, it will be for a minimum of sixteen weeks.  These treatment programs become a part of the mandatory sentence for your DWI conviction.  Individuals are encouraged to supplement any referred treatment with his or her own meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Your driving privileges will only be restored after serving all your court and MVC-imposed suspensions, and when you have successfully completed all the IDP and IDRC requirements.

Individuals are responsible for the costs of all additional recommended services and treatment.

What If I Need to Reschedule my IDRC Appointment?

The IDRC will only accept four justifications for rescheduling appointments, each of which must be supported by appropriate documentation such as an obituary, doctor’s note or letter from your employer.  The four justifications include:

  • A personal or family health emergency;
  • Death in the family within ten days prior to the scheduled appointment;
  • A documented emergency; or
  • A family emergency.

What If I Don’t Show Up for IDRC?

If you fail to show up for IDRC without having an excused absence, fail to pay, or fail to complete the prescribed programs, you will be deemed non-compliant.  You will then be referred to the original sentencing court and the MVC for appropriate action.  You may face an extended period of license suspension, and two days in jail for failure to comply.  You will still need to complete the IDP/IDRC program.

What If I Do Not Reside in New Jersey?

Even if you live out of state, you must still comply with the IDRC requirements.  If you live within driving distance of a New Jersey IDRC, you will be scheduled to appear there.  If not, you may be given an opportunity to complete the requirements in your home state.

Take Charge of Your Future – Start Preparing Your DWI Defense Today

Respected New Jersey DWI lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich has a unique advantage over many DWI lawyers, having served over 23 years in law enforcement.  If you have been charged with drunk driving, we can use our extensive experience to your advantage.  To discuss your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout New Jersey, including Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

New Jersey DWI – DUI Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich – Mixing Prescription Drugs and Alcohol—A Dangerous Combination

When an individual is arrested for driving under the influence, law enforcement may opt to charge them with driving under the influence of alcohol, a drug, or a combination of both. A person can be found guilty even if the amount of alcohol consumed would be less than the legal limit of .08 percent. This is because the combined effect of drugs and alcohol can produce a synergistic effect—such that even if either substance alone might not impair the driver, their combined effect renders a driver profoundly impaired.

In New Jersey, you can be charged with a DWI even if you are under the influence of over-the-counter drugs or prescription medication that has been legally prescribed to you. Many recent studies demonstrate that common medications, particularly allergy medications, may impair a person’s driving even more than alcohol.

Common medications that can result in a drug-impaired driving charge include:

  • Sleeping pills, such as Ambien
  • Allergy medication, such as Benadryl
  • Cough syrup, such as Nyquil or Codeine-based syrups
  • Prescription painkillers, including Tylenol 3, Vicodin and OxyContin
  • Anti-anxiety medications, such as Ativan, Xanax and other benzodiazepines
  • Antidepressants
  • Muscle relaxers

In the typical scenario where both drugs and alcohol are involved, police will first arrest a motorist for driving under the influence of alcohol. Then, after administering field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer test, if the breathalyzer results and field sobriety test results do not correlate (because the driver appears to be more impaired than the breathalyzer results indicate), police may seek blood or urine samples to determine whether the driver is under the influence of drugs.

Many drugs stay in a person’s system for long periods of time, and can be detected in a person’s blood or urine long after the impairing effects have worn off. Therefore, to be convicted of a DWI in New Jersey for drug use, a driver will most likely be subject to a series of tests conducted by a drug recognition expert. If such an expert is not available at the police station when the driver is tested, the test results may become inadmissible in court.

New Jersey DWI – DUI Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Defends Motorists Accused of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol

Respected New Jersey DUI lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich has a vast knowledge of the technicalities of DWI law and has successfully defended countless clients against DWI charges. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you have rights. To discuss your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County, including Union, Dover, Brick, Jackson, Wall, Woodbridge, East Brunswick, Evesham, Howell, Robbinsville, Bound Brook, Neptune, Hamilton, Linden City, Bridgewater and Tinton Falls.


New Jersey DWI – DUI Lawyer Edward Janzekovich – DUI – DWI Checkpoints

In general, police officers in New Jersey can only stop a vehicle if they have a reasonable suspicion that an offense has been committed. They must also be able to specifically describe the grounds for their suspicion. Despite this constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, police may randomly stop drivers at sobriety checkpoints (also called roadblocks) even if they have no reason to believe that anyone in the vehicle committed an offense. Because random checkpoint stops are such an intrusive law enforcement technique, the police must be able to show a rational basis for establishing the roadblock. There are strict requirements for both setting up and executing roadblocks.

What To Expect At A Sobriety Checkpoint

As you approach a road block, you should see signs and lighting designating the checkpoint area. You will be required to slow down and wait for your turn to be processed through the checkpoint. Police officers will detain drivers in a pre-selected pattern (for example, every driver or every fifth driver). Drivers cannot be stopped on their appearance alone.

If you are stopped, you will be detained for a brief period of time. Police may ask basic questions, request documentation and look for signs that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you exhibit these signs, you will be asked to move your car to a separate area where you will be asked to undergo a field sobriety test.

Roadblock Requirements

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that if police do not follow the proper procedures for setting up and executing a roadblock, any evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court—including breathalyzer or blood test results. Courts will consider various factors in determining whether a roadblock was proper, including:

  • Whether notice of the time, date and location of the roadblock was published in advance
  • Whether advance warning was given to individual approaching motorists (use of lights, signs, etc.)
  • Whether statistical data demonstrates that the roadblock was set up in a particularly problematic location for drinking and driving
  • Whether public safety and awareness are fostered by the checkpoint
  • The time of day when the roadblock is conducted
  • Average length each motorist is detained
  • Whether less intrusive measures could have been used to combat drunk driving in the area

Police officers and state troopers do not have the authority to select a DUI checkpoint location or time. They must first receive a directive from their commanding officer.

What Happens if I Attempt to Evade a Roadblock?

If you are intoxicated and attempt to evade a properly established road block, this may give police sufficient reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle.

New Jersey DUI Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Represents Drivers Who Have Been Charged With DWI at Police Roadblocks

State and federal laws carefully protect the rights of citizens to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. If you were stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and arrested for driving under the influence, New Jersey DWI lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich will obtain all documents relating to the establishment of the road block, and analyze it to determine whether it was legal. I will also look at the circumstances surrounding your stop to determine whether police followed proper procedures and detained you for a reasonable amount of time. Unreasonable detentions raise different constitutional issues and may provide you with additional defenses.

We proudly serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County. To discuss your case, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.