New Jersey law allows authorities to seek enhanced penalties when a person is accused of driving while intoxicated in a school zone. Increased jail time, higher fines, lengthier license suspension periods and ignition interlocks are among the potential penalties related to DWI in a school zone in New Jersey. A person does not necessarily have to be on school property, like a school parking lot, to face a school zone offense, as the zone extends beyond property owned or leased to a New Jersey school under the statutory language.

A Rockaway, New Jersey, man is facing a string of charges after police responded to a parking lot outside Morris Hills High School earlier this month. Authorities received a report that a man was driving erratically in the lot. Police claim that the man hit a sign and nearly struck a pedestrian in the lot at around 3:00 in the afternoon.

Authorities pulled over a car that police think was involved in the parking lot allegations. It is not clear from a media account where that stop was conducted. Authorities say that the man behind the wheel was uncooperative during the investigatory stop. The man is accused of resisting among a slate of other charges.

Authorities assert that the man refused to submit to a breath test, which can increase potential penalties, like the license suspension period associated with a New Jersey DUI. But, the man also faces charges for allegedly driving drunk in a school zone, criminal mischief, leaving the scene of an accident and more, based upon the allegations.

After being arrested, authorities released the man to a local hospital for treatment of undisclosed medical issues, according to The Citizen of Morris County.

Source: The Citizen, “Man charged with driving while intoxicated on high school grounds,” June 17, 2014