New Jersey law allows prosecutors to seek enhanced penalties if a person is convicted of driving under the influence in a school zone. The New Jersey DWI statutes prohibit driving while intoxicated on school property, or within 1,000 feet of any property used for school purposes. The law also applies to people passing through school crossings. Among the harsher consequences a person can face in school zone DWI cases in New Jersey is that the potential for jail time is increased, as well as the potential length of a driver’s license suspension.

Police in Chatham Township, New Jersey, say that a minor fender bender has led to DWI charges against a Green Village, New Jersey, woman. Authorities responded to the scene on Shunpike Road last Wednesday shortly after Noon. An officer claims that one of the drivers, the 28-year-old Green Village woman, smelled of alcohol. She was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

No injuries were reported in the minor accident. However, the location of the event may come into play in the Joint Municipal Court as authorities say that the DWI arrest was made in a school zone. The woman faces charges for DWI and careless driving. It is not clear what evidence other than the officer’s claim that the woman’s breath had the odor of an alcoholic beverage during the car accident investigation. The woman was processed at police headquarters and released after her arrest.

Typically for a first-time DWI offense, a driver may face up to 30 days in jail. The blood alcohol readings associated with a DWI arrest can have an impact on the length of a license suspension. However, for a first- time DWI offense in a school zone, the law allows the judge to impose up to 60 days and the potential license suspension is also increased to a term of 12-to-24 months, according to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

Source: The Alternative Press, “Car Accident Leads to DWI Arrest on Shunpike Road,” May 7, 2014