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    Chapter 4: Application of chapter

      Section: 39:4-51a: No consumption of alcoholic beverages, cannabis items in motor vehicles; presumption; penalties.

          1. a. A person shall not consume an alcoholic beverage or cannabis item as defined in section 3 of P.L.2021, c.16 (C.24:6I-33) while operating a motor vehicle. A passenger in a motor vehicle shall not consume an alcoholic beverage, and shall not consume by means of smoking, vaping, or aerosolizing a cannabis item, while the motor vehicle is being operated. This subsection shall not apply, with respect to the consumption of an alcoholic beverage, to a passenger of a charter or special bus operated as defined under R.S.48:4-1 or a limousine service.

b. A person shall be presumed to have consumed an alcoholic beverage in violation of this section if an unsealed container of an alcoholic beverage is located in the passenger compartment of the motor vehicle, the contents of the alcoholic beverage have been partially consumed and the physical appearance or conduct of the operator of the motor vehicle or a passenger may be associated with the consumption of an alcoholic beverage. For the purposes of this section, the term "unsealed" shall mean a container with its original seal broken, or a container such as a glass or cup.

c. For the first offense, a person convicted of violating this section shall be fined $200 and shall be informed by the court of the penalties for a second or subsequent violation of this section. For a second or subsequent offense, a person convicted of violating this section shall be fined $250 or shall be ordered by the court to perform community service for a period of 10 days in such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances.

L.1983, c.307, s.1; amended 1999, c.356, s.20; 2021, c.16, s.83.

This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2021-05-04 15:58:35.

Older versions of 39:4-51a (if available):

Court decisions that cite this statute: CLICK HERE.