New Jersey - Monmouth County
Monmouth County, New Jersey is located south of Newark. The U.S. Census Bureau reports a population of 603,434 up 1.1% from 1997. Roughly 90% of the population resides in urban areas. Per capita income in the County is listed at $20,565.
DWI Enforcement System
New Jersey State Police and various Municipal Police Departments handle most DWI arrests. In New Jersey, the DWI offense is a per se offense at the .10 BAC level. All law enforcement agencies use uniform traffic tickets (UTT) when making a DWI arrest. These traffic citations are all compiled by the statewide Automated Traffic/Complaint System. Police dispatchers have access to this system which, in turn, provides officers in the field with valuable information.
Prosecution Patterns and Beliefs
In New Jersey, a DWI offense is not considered a crime, but is labeled a Aquasi-crime@ by statute and is handled as a traffic matter by the municipal courts. There are 538 municipal courts in the state of New Jersey. A very small percentage (estimated at 1%) of DWI cases are handled in Superior Court and only when another serious crime, some indictable offense, has been committed in conjunction with the DWI offense, which is considered a non-indictable offense. These cases must be sent to the prosecutors office and adjudicated in Superior Court.
All law enforcement agencies use UTTs when making a DWI arrest. These traffic citations are all compiled by a statewide Automated Traffic/Complaint System (ATS/ACS). This system has reduced case backlog and reduced time to disposition, which was a major concern before the ATS/ACS was implemented. All municipal courts have access to this system and depend on the system for administrative and statistical information. Conviction rates are not routinely calculated, but if there were reason to do so, the rate would most likely be calculated using numbers generated from the ATS/ACS.
Although a civil matter, DWI offenders can still receive jail time. There are no administrative per se or administrative license removal (ALR) laws in New Jersey. Judicial court proceedings are required to be quick which counters the need for ALR. In fact, it is a goal of the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts to have DWI cases adjudicated within 60 days. The DMV is notified only of convictions.
It is the practice of the New Jersey Court Municipal Services Division to not factor in those cases where the person has failed to appear in court into the conviction rate equation. Those cases are not considered closed and therefore have not reached any final disposition