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DWI in New Jersey? The Intoxicated Driver Program is Mandatory

All persons convicted of DWI in New Jersey must participate in a program called the Intoxicated Driver Program, or IDP.  But what are the program’s requirements?  What happens if you fail to complete the program?  What if you were charged in New Jersey, but live out-of-state?  Our New Jersey DWI lawyers answer your questions and explain some of the potential outcomes.

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What to Expect at the NJ Intoxicated Driver Program

Participation in the IDP is mandatory for people found guilty of DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in New Jersey, regardless of whether the charges are related to alcohol or drug possession. The program is administered by the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Addiction Services, and maintains a network of IDRCs (Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers) in counties throughout the state.

However, not only does the IDP oversee interventions, rehabilitation, and substance education — it is also responsible for recommending whether your driver’s license should be suspended or revoked to the Motor Vehicle Commission or MVC.  Therefore, it is extremely important to comply with all IDP requirements to the very best of your abilities. So what are those requirements?  What can you expect from the IDP?

To complete the IDP, you’ll need to attend mandatory alcohol and highway safety education courses at your local county IDRC.  Our Burlington County DUI attorneys can help you find the right IDRC for you.  At the IDRC, in addition to completing the safety courses you will also be evaluated for whether rehabilitation is appropriate for you.  If you are selected for rehabilitation, you must complete at least 16 weeks of treatment.

Finally, you should also be aware of the mandatory fees for IDP participation:

  • $100 Attendance Fee
  • $100 License Restoration Fee
  • $230 First Offender Fee
  • $280 Second Offender Fee

In total, first-time offenders will end up paying $430, while repeat offenders will pay $480.

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I Was Charged with DWI, What Happens if I Don’t Complete IDP Requirements?

It’s important to understand that if you do not complete the IDP successfully, there will be severe consequences.

To begin with, the IDP will certainly not recommend the restoration of your license to the MVC.  In fact, not only will your license not be recommended for restoration, it will likely be recommended for an even longer period of suspension or revocation.  (Note that depending on factors like your BAC and whether the DUI incident was a first or repeat offense, license suspensions can already range from several months to several years. Needless to say, you don’t want to add any time to your license suspension simply because of avoidable non-compliance with the IDP.)

In addition to creating problems with the restoration of your driver’s license, failure to comply with the IDP can also result in several additional days of jail time.

Not only that, but the program completion requirements never go away.  Even if you dodge participating the program, extend your license suspension, and are sentenced to additional jail time, you will still have to go through IDP at some point.  Simply put, there are zero benefits and numerous drawbacks to avoiding IDP participation.

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What Should I Do if I Live Out-of-State?

The IDP requirements still apply to you even if you are not a resident of New Jersey. However, how you ultimately fulfill the New Jersey IDP requirements depends on how far away you live.

If you live within reasonable driving distance, such as certain residents of Pennsylvania, you will be required to travel to New Jersey for assignment to the most appropriate IDRC based on your location.  If you live very far away and driving to New Jersey is simply not practical, you will be required to meet the IDP requirements or their equivalent in your home state.

If you are an out-of-state resident, you should make sure to send any relevant correspondence to the following address:

New Jersey Division of Addiction Services
Intoxicated Driving Program
Out of State Unit
P.O. BOX 365
Trenton, NJ 08625-0365

If you need a copy of your driving history in New Jersey, or if you have any questions about restoring a suspended license, call the MVC at (609) 292-7500 for assistance.  If you need assistance finding legal documents, the court where you were convicted will be able to help.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence in New Jersey, talk to a criminal defense attorney today.  Our Mercer County drunk driving lawyers can help you fight the charges, explore possible defenses, and understand your legal rights and responsibilities.  To set up a free and confidential case evaluation, call the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today.

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