New Jersey School Bus Driver Charged with DWI While Kids on Board

school busDWI charges can adversely affect almost every aspect of your life, including your job prospects. As a result, these charges should never be taken lightly. If you are a commercial driver who has been charged with a DWI, you need to reach out to a skilled New Jersey commercial DWI attorney who can protect your rights. We can scrutinize the details of your arrest and build you an aggressive defense for your case.

A school bus driver in Lakewood smelled of alcohol when he spoke to law enforcement during a road rage investigation, police said. The driver works for Lakewood-based Jay’s Bus Service and was carrying students who attend a private school. The incident took place at about 8:30 a.m. last month when the bus had about 20 kids on board. The bus driver was initially pulled over for a road rage investigation. Upon being pulled over, however, officers noticed the driver was slurring his speech and had bloodshot eyes. The driver was arrested for driving under the influence and endangering the welfare of children.

In New Jersey, bus drivers are considered commercial vehicle drivers. Those operating commercial vehicles are subject to different rules than those operating ordinary passenger vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, in combination with the New Jersey Commercial Driver License Act, prohibits commercial drivers from getting behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.04 percent or higher, a significantly lower amount than the 0.08 percent that applies to ordinary drivers.

Here, the driver was accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and faces additional charges for endangering the welfare of a child, since students were on the bus at the time of the offense. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4, one of the essential elements of child endangerment in New Jersey is conduct that would make a child an abused or neglected child. Specifically, an individual who engages in conduct that places a child in danger or who causes harm to a child may face charges under this statute.

The DWI penalties for drivers with a CDL will vary depending on a number of factors. Each subsequent offense carries harsher penalties. If you are convicted of a first DWI, you will lose your commercial driver’s license for one year, no matter which vehicle you were driving. This suspension is mandatory in addition to the penalties you will receive under New Jersey law.

DWI charges are serious enough, but they can be even more damaging when they are coupled with a child endangerment charge. If you have been charged with a DWI, it is vital to reach out to a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney who can assess your case. The stakes are extremely high, and having the right attorney on your side can make all of the difference in your case. With years of experience, we understand how to navigate these types of situations. To speak to one of our team members about your case, call us at 877-450-8301 or reach out to us online.

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