Alcohol Permits

NJ law law provides for the issuance of a one day permit authorizing the sale of alcoholic beverages. This new legislation is aimed at the needs of civic, religious, educational or veterans organizations and the annual events held by each. In prior years, such events were “dry”, or at times in violation of State and local alcohol beverage regulations. The legislation recognized that such organizations and the public were better served by regulating temporary permits than by having technical violations of the law overlooked by local police.

The legislation calls for a permit fee that will be, in most cases, under $100.00.

Drunken Driving and Medications

New Jersey Law N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 mandates a 2 tiered law for per se violations for drunk driving for first time offenders. For BAC’s between .08-.09 there is a mandatory minimum three (3) month loss of license (along with all the other fines and penalties for an individual convicted of DWI). For individuals for whose BAC’s are .10 or higher there is a mandatory minimum loss of driving privileges for 7 months (up to 1 year). For subsequent offenders the per se limit is .08 BAC. In addition to other penalties second offenders are subject to a 2 year loss of license, 30 days of community service and 2 days in jail while third offenders face a 10 year loss of license and 180 days in jail.

A recent article in the Journal of American Medical Association reports studies that have shown anti-ulcer medications such as the brand name medications Zantac and Tagamet can inhibit the enzymes that break down alcohol. This can result in an increase of up to 92% of blood alcohol readings when a patient is taking these medications and drinking alcohol. Two drinks can show up on a breathalyzer as the equivalent of four drinks.

Patients should discuss this effect with their doctor prior to consuming alcohol while taking ulcer medication. Clients charged with drunken driving should also be certain to advise counsel of all medication they may be taking at the time of arrest since there are a variety of drugs that affect the reading by the breathalyzer machine.

When arrested for a DWI violation, an individual has a right to have independent blood work conducted by a hospital or doctor. The right to independent blood work as a potential defense for the DWI arrest is extremely important.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) based upon a blood sample is far more accurate and reliable than BAC based upon the use of a breathalyzer.

Having knowledge of your rights is one of the most valuable assets a defendant has in preparation of their defense to a DWI charge. If you been arrested immediately contact an experienced attorney to have your case properly prepared for trial.

The independent blood work is a very valuable defense for an individual and whenever possible should be requested. If possible, an individual should request to have transportation provided for independent blood work during the videotape sequence of psycho-physical examinations and breathalyzer given at police headquarters.