Congratulations your daughter finally graduated from college. You went out to celebrate with some friends and had a few drinks. You grab your keys to go home. You feel a little queasy but you’ve driven before after a couple of drinks. You can handle it. Or can you? Only one mile from home, you hear the sirens and see the lights behind you. As you are waiting for the police officer to approach you look to your right and see a school. You are not only facing a charge for driving under the influence but for having done so in a school zone. This can’t be good, you think . . .
When you are pulled over by an officer for DUI within 1,000 feet of school property, including a school crossing zone, the penalties increase from a regular DUI. NOT knowing that you were within 1,000 feet of school property or driving through a school crossing zone is NOT a valid defense, even if there were no minors present at the time of the offense, or that school wasn’t in session.
Remember that with a regular DUI you can spend up to 30 days in jail. With a DUI received in a school zone, you can serve up to 60 days in jail. And there are more consequences:
- You can lose your license for one to two years, instead of 3 months.
- You will incur a higher fine of $500 to $800, so that the total fines add up to $1,294 to $1,594, excluding insurance surcharges or increase in premiums.
In this offense, if your BAC is less than .15%, you may be forced to install an interlock device for six months to a year after the end of your license suspension. If your BAC is .15% or greater, you will be forced to install an interlock device for six months to a year after the end of your license suspension.
What if this is your SECOND offense DUI in a school zone? How is this different from a REGULAR second offense?
- You will have a higher fine of $1,000 to $2,000, so the total fines are added to $1,894 to $2,844, rather than $1,344 to $1,844, excluding any insurance surcharges or increases in insurance premiums.
- You will experience mandatory imprisonment of four to 180 days. The court may authorize two days through IDRC and up to 90 days through community service.
- You will lose your license for FOUR YEARS, rather than two years. This term begins after you get out of jail.
- You will volunteer for 60 days of community service, rather than 30 days.
- You will have to complete a DWI alcohol countermeasures screening and evaluation program.