Not every drunk driver is an alcoholic, but many people who are charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol have a dependency on these substances that makes it much harder for them to make the right choices or say no to drinking and getting behind the wheel.
Often, alcoholics and drug users have an inflated view of their abilities when they’re taking these substances, and may think that they’re just fine to drive — even after several beers or shots. These people would benefit greatly from rehabilitation programs to help them overcome their addiction, and the New Jersey Intoxicated Driving Program aims to provide DUI/DWI offenders with this option.
What is the Intoxicated Driving Program?
If a driver has been convicted of DUI/DWI traffic offenses, he or she is required to participate in the Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP) at the Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC). This program is run through the Division of Addiction Services of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, and has two options for completion — a 12-hour or a 48-hour program.
The IDP has different requirements for drivers depending on how many times they have been convicted of driving under the influence. First offenders are detained, evaluated, and educated for a total of 12 hours (typically two six-hour sessions) in a county IDRC. Second-time offenders are sentenced to a period of imprisonment of two to 90 days, but frequently, courts will allow such offenders to satisfy the period of imprisonment by participating in a program for 48 consecutive hours at a regional IDRC facility.
Third-time offenders sentenced to a 180-day jail sentence, of which up to 90 days may be served at an approved inpatient alcoholism treatment program. In addition to this jail sentence and treatment, the driver will also be required to take part in IDP for 12 hours. For every offense, a driver must complete the program, pay the required fees, and meet all treatment requirements before his or her license can be restored.
One critical part of the IDP is education. The program aims to inform convicted drunk drivers of the potential effects of their actions, even if they were not driving erratically, and they were not involved in an accident.
Drivers are required to watch videos of DUI accidents, and attend educational discussions and information sessions about what happens when you drink and drive. After this, drivers will meet with a counselor to undergo an evaluation. Through education, the IDP program hopes to encourage drivers to stay sober behind the wheel.
Take Control of Your Situation
If you have been charged with drunk driving, it’s in your best interest to take steps to not only meet the legal requirements but also to accept help in treating your dependency on drugs or alcohol. Through New Jersey’s rehabilitation program, you have the opportunity to serve your time for a DUI/DWI charge in more than one way and benefit from rehabilitation services as well. For more information on IDP in our state, contact Scott Gorman, a leading Essex County DWI lawyer at The Gorman Law Firm.
Published in Categories: DUI / DWI