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Biking While Intoxicated Offenses Should Not Be Taken Lightly
If you’re considering hitting the road on a motorized bicycle, it’s crucial to be well-informed about New Jersey’s laws concerning operating such vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol. New Jersey law is stringent, and violations can result in hefty fines, imprisonment, and other penalties that could seriously affect your life.
39:4-14.3g: What Does New Jersey Law Say?
The relevant law concerning operating a motorized bike while under the influence is New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 39:4-14.3g. It explicitly states that operating a motorized bike while being under the influence of narcotics, hallucinogenics, intoxicating liquor, or any habit-forming drug is illegal. Furthermore, this law aligns the penalties for such violations with those associated with operating a regular motor vehicle under the influence, as outlined in New Jersey Statutes Section 39:4-50.
Penalties For First Offense
If you are caught operating a motorized bike while under the influence and it’s your first offense, here’s what you might face:
- If your blood alcohol concentration is between 0.08% and 0.10%, you could be fined anywhere from $250 to $400. Additionally, you could be detained for 12 to 48 hours and even face up to 30 days in jail. An ignition interlock device may also be required in your motor vehicle.
- If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.10% or higher, the fines increase to a range between $300 and $500, along with similar detainment and potential jail time.
Consequences For Subsequent Offenses
Repeat offenses carry even more stringent penalties:
- A second violation could result in a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000, community service for 30 days, and imprisonment for 48 hours to 90 days. Your driving license will be forfeited for a period ranging from one to two years.
- For a third or subsequent offense, the penalties include a $1,000 fine and a minimum of 180 days in jail. Your driving license will be forfeited for eight years.
The Long-Term Impact
Apart from the immediate penalties, a conviction for operating a motorized bike while under the influence could have long-term consequences. You may face higher insurance premiums, difficulties in job searches, and the social stigma associated with a criminal record.
Defenses For Operating A Motorized Bicycle While Under The Influence In New Jersey
If you are facing charges for operating a motorized bike under the influence in New Jersey, understanding potential defenses can be crucial. New Jersey law stipulates that you could face the same penalties as driving a motor vehicle under the influence, based on Section 39:4-14.3g and 39:4-50 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes. Here, we’ll delve into some defenses that could be applied.
Challenging The Legality Of The Stop
One of the first defenses that could be applied is questioning the legality of the initial stop. Law enforcement needs a valid reason to pull you over. If you can prove that the officer had no valid cause for the initial stop, any evidence obtained subsequently, such as a breathalyzer test, could be deemed inadmissible in court.
Questioning The Accuracy Of Testing Equipment
Another defense is to question the reliability of the devices used to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you can demonstrate that the equipment was faulty or not properly calibrated, then the BAC readings could be deemed unreliable and thus not admissible in court.
Contesting The Observational Evidence
Officers usually note their observations, such as erratic driving or slurred speech, to support the case for intoxication. If you can provide evidence that discredits or casts doubt on the officer’s observational skills or judgment, such as proving the erratic driving was due to avoiding a pothole or another obstacle, you may have a valid defense.
Arguing For Medical Reasons
If you have a medical condition that mimics the symptoms of intoxication, this could also serve as a defense. Conditions like hypoglycemia or neurological issues can sometimes cause symptoms similar to intoxication. In such cases, medical records and expert testimony can help in disputing the charges.
Timing Of Consumption And Arrest
The timing between when you last consumed alcohol and when the BAC test was administered could also be a crucial factor. Alcohol takes time to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, if you consumed alcohol just before getting on the motorized bicycle, your BAC could actually rise between the time of the traffic stop and the administration of the test, rendering the results inaccurate for the time you were operating the bicycle.
Frequently Asked Questions: Operating A Motorized Bike While Under The Influence In New Jersey
Can I Be Charged With A DUI For Riding A Motorized Bicycle?
Yes, under New Jersey law Section 39:4-14.3g, you can be charged with a DUI for operating a motorized bike under the influence of alcohol, hallucinogenic, narcotics, or habit-forming drugs. The penalties are the same as those for driving a motor vehicle under similar conditions, as per Section 39:4-50.
Are The Penalties The Same For DUI On A Motorized Bicycle And A Car?
Yes, the penalties are the same. If convicted, you could face fines, imprisonment, and suspension of your driving privileges, depending on the severity and number of offenses.
What Bac Level Is Considered Illegal?
As per New Jersey law, a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.08% or higher is considered illegal for both motor vehicles and motorized bicycles.
Do Implied Consent Laws Apply To Motorized Bicycles?
Yes, the same consent laws and procedures that apply to cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles also applies to motorized bikes as per Section 39:4-14.3g. This means you are presumed to have given consent for BAC testing when operating a motorized bike.
What Happens If I Refuse A Breathalyzer Test?
Refusing to take a breathalyzer test while operating a motorized bike can lead to separate penalties, including driver’s license suspension and fines, just like refusing the test while operating a motor vehicle.
Can I Challenge The DUI Charge?
Absolutely. There are several defenses you can apply, including questioning the legality of the traffic stop, the accuracy of the breathalyzer test, and the validity of observational evidence, among others.
Can Medical Conditions Affect The DUI Test?
Yes, certain medical conditions like hypoglycemia can mimic the symptoms of intoxication. If you have a condition that could affect the test results or the officer’s observations, this could be used as a defense in court.
Do I Need A Lawyer For A Motorized Bicycle DUI Case?
Given the complexities and severe consequences of DUI laws in New Jersey, having an experienced criminal defense attorney is highly recommended. Legal representation can help you understand your rights and craft the most effective defense strategy for your specific circumstances.
NJ Traffic Offense Attorneys Can Help
To summarize, operating a motorized bike while under the influence in New Jersey is a serious offense. The penalties closely mirror those for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. First-time offenders can face fines, detainment, and potential jail time. Second and subsequent offenses result in even harsher penalties, including higher fines, longer imprisonment terms, and extended periods of license forfeiture.
If you find yourself facing a traffic offense charge, it is crucial to consult a legal professional experienced in New Jersey’s traffic laws to navigate the complexities of your case.
When facing legal challenges, the last thing you need is doubt. You need a law firm you can trust. Our lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall provide the expertise and confidence you need to fight your traffic ticket. Don’t hesitate. Call us at (855) 925-4034 or reach out online to arrange a meeting. Choose confidence. Choose us.