December 19, 2014

New Jersey Intoxicated Driver Program for DUI convictions

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Any time a person is convicted of DUI, New Jersey law requires that the individual complete an Intoxicated Driver Program at an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center. Those who are convicted and need addictions treatment but are unable to afford it may be eligible for funding from the Driving Under the Influence Initiative.

The IDP is a program that provides interventions for people who are convicted of DUI of alcohol or drugs. Every county of the state has an IDRC for persons who are convicted for the first and third time while every region has centers for people who are convicted for the second time.

The IDRCs detain, teach and screen the convicted drivers to determine whether they need additional treatment for addiction. During the educational phase, the individuals attend courses about highway safety and alcohol. The centers also provide recommendations to the Motor Vehicle Commission on whether to suspend or restore the individuals' licenses.

If after a clinical assessment the convicted drivers need addiction treatment, they must complete a treatment over a minimum of 16 weeks. The DUII provides financial assistance to those who are poverty-stricken and meet the financial eligibility limitations. This is a $7.5 million fund set aside to reduce the chances of the drivers returning to New Jersey roads while drunk driving. More than 6,500 residents receive financial help through this fund every year.

When an officer thinks that someone pulled over for a traffic stop could be intoxicated, the officer is likely to conduct field sobriety tests, chemical tests or both. Drivers who are detained and charged with DUI may seek the guidance of a lawyer to get the charges dismissed or at least negotiate a plea bargain to get the penalties reduced. If a plea bargain is agreed upon, the drivers could still be required to participate in an IDP.

Source: State of NJ Motor Vehicle Commission, "DUI: Driving Under the Influence", September 26, 2014

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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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