Each state has chosen an approach to dealing with the safety problem of driving under the influence. All states implement a comprehensive alcoholic driver education program of some type, but New Jersey may be the strictest in the nation, so we’ll use this state for our subject. Individuals convicted of driving under the influence are required to enroll in the locally incorporated program, but all convicted impaired drivers are also required to undergo psychological evaluation for potential alcoholism and addiction severity. Additionally, failure to complete the education process according to the prescribed timetable can affect how quickly the convicted impaired driver can have driving privileges reinstated. In some cases, privileges can be suspended indefinitely.
What are the IDP and IDRC?
The IDP is the Intoxicated Driving Program and they coordinate all responsibilities of convicted DUI drivers within the state of New Jersey. The program is intended to help indigent convicted intoxicated drivers get the treatment they may need, regardless of resources. They are the oversight agency that partners with regional IDRC NJ facilities across the state.
The Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers (IDRC) are required to interview and evaluate all convicted drunk drivers in the state, often including those from out of state if they live within a specific proximity of the state border. Convicted intoxicated drivers from other states can be allowed to satisfy the requirements in their home state, but all program fees must be paid to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Additionally, driving privilege reinstatement is also determined by the state of New Jersey.
How Does the Program Work?
The program basically educates convicted DUI drivers with two programs, depending on individual evaluations. Primarily determined by the number of offenses by the convicted driver, the defendant can be recommended for either a 12-hour or 48-hour program. The 12-hour program can be completed in two consecutive days of six-hour educate and evaluation sessions. The 48-hour program is two days incarceration in the authorized facility for the local court system, or 48 consecutive hours, while a comprehensive education and evaluation analysis is performed. The IDRC then issues a treatment recommendation for the client.
The program requirements can range from formal enrollment in a full-service treatment facility to documented evidence of attending a self-help program. This is a significant latitude in treatment assignment, which is also subject to court determination.
The Need for a DWI Attorney
Any DWI defendant in New Jersey must have an attorney because even the first offense can carry an incarceration period of up 30 days in jail. Any defendant facing jail time is required to have a legal representative. Additionally, many DWI cases are filed on borderline evidence, and all other case particulars are also subject to questioning from the attorney.
Attorneys are court officers just like arresting police officers. All traffic stops may not have been conducted exactly according to arrest protocol, so an experienced and effective DWI attorney can conduct his own investigation into the incident. Eliminating evidence can be a real advantage when negotiating a case settlement, especially considering that a reckless driving plea negotiation eliminates all IDP requirements and reduces any driving privilege suspensions. The attorney is well worth the investment in adjudication.
It is important for multiple offenders who are facing solid prosecution cases to understand that the 48-hour program is standard. Multiple DWI convictions demonstrate that earlier punishments and treatment plans did not get the message across. The state of New Jersey is serious about public safety, and according to defense attorney Evan Levow, its IDRC NJ ensures that multiple offenders can count on a comprehensive punishment plan, including incarceration. It is important to have an attorney who is willing to maintain court consistency when dealing the rights of the defendant, such as sentencing guideline compliance.