Change in the DWI Law - NJSA 39:4-50 - "Florence's Law"

On January 20, 2004 Governor James E. McGreevey signed a law lowering DWI Blood Alcohol Content down from 0.10 to 0.08. The Bill was named after the late Florence Nass, whose son was killed by a drunken driver and was a strong advocate for this measure.

“This law simply makes sense,” said McGreevey. “Florence’s Law is simply about being responsible. It is a worthy way to honor a great New Jersey activist. Lowering the blood alcohol limit will protect lives and prevent injuries. It will also bring back $7.2 million in Federal highway funding that the Federal government was going to withhold.”

The bill also creates a graduated penalty structure for first offenders. Those who have a BAC of .08 or higher but less than .10 will receive a fine of $250 to $400 and up to a three month license suspension. Those with a BAC of .10 or higher will receive a fine of $300 to $500 and a license suspension of at least seven months. The same graduated penalty applies to people who let intoxicated persons get behind the wheel.

According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, virtually all drinkers are significantly impaired at .08 BAC. Studies show some states that enacted a .08 BAC law have reduced the number of fatal crashes by 12 percent.

Significant Crime Problems Encountered - Both Continuing and Emerging

Despite our efforts at enforcing the drug laws, a great number of cases involve drugs, directly or indirectly, such as burglaries and thefts, including residential and business burglaries. There is also a disturbing trend involving heroin use by juveniles. Hunterdon County is an affluent community located between New York and Philadelphia with major highway systems running through it. Interstate 78 and Routes 202 and 22 provide access to surrounding cities and neighboring counties resulting in the availability of a variety of controlled dangerous substances, allowing for quick entry and exit of criminal elements.

In response to the drug problem and to control its effect on the community, an extensive undercover drug operation by this office resulted in the arrest of 72 people. Among the major drugs encountered were LSD and Ecstasy. This operation had a significant impact on the drug trade within this county.

Participation in Special Projects, Research Efforts, Studies, Training Programs, etc.

The Criminal Justice Intern Program began in the 1980's with a request from Raritan Valley Community College to participate in their cooperative studies program. A sampling of the colleges participation in our internship program is as follows:

  • Kutztown University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Rowan College
  • East Stroudsburg University
  • Kings College
  • Stockton State College
  • Vassar College
  • Penn State University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Colgate University

Our internship program is a hands-on and completely interactive program. The intern participates in preparation of cases for first appearances, grand jury and trial, observes court matters including sentencing, suppression motions, and bail hearings. The interns completing the program have always indicated their satisfaction with the amount and diversity of activities in which they are allowed to participate. The program has also benefited the Office, not only by having the opportunity to educate future criminal justice personnel, but also to observe and evaluate those personnel for possible future employment. Since the inception of the internship program former interns have been hired by the office and hold positions of detective sergeant, detective first class, detective and administrative investigator. Our office is proud of the opportunity to work with the various colleges and universities in the continuing education of future criminal justice personnel.


Renee M. Robeson, Hunterdon County Prosecutor
Hunterdon County Prosecutor Renée M. Robeson

65 Park Avenue
P.O. Box 756
Flemington, NJ 08822

Phone: 908-788-1129

DIAL 9-1-1

Crimestopers of Hunterdon County Operaton Open Hands


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