Most people know that if they operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can be charged with a DWI. However, few people know that you can be charged with a DWI even if you are not driving the vehicle. If you are a passenger who has been arrested or charged with a DWI, you need to contact a skilled New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney as soon as possible. The aftermath of such a charge can be costly both in terms of time and money, but we are committed to helping you fight the charges.
Under New Jersey law, any individual who operates a motor vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug may be found guilty of driving while intoxicated (DWI). When it comes to DWI charges based on inebriation by alcohol, the person’s blood alcohol concentration must be 0.08 percent or higher.
New Jersey’s DWI statute is quite broad. In fact, under New Jersey Statute 34:4-50(a), a police officer can charge a person sitting in a passenger seat for a DWI if the passenger “permitted” the driver to operate the motor vehicle while under the influence. It is important to note that in order for the passenger to be charged, the passenger must have been under the influence as well or found to have knowledge of the offense.