People convicted of drunk driving in New Jersey are sentenced to a certain amount of time with the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, or the IDRC. But what is this center? What does it do, and why are people sentenced to it?

What is the IDRC?

Within the state's Department of Health and Senior Services there is a Division of Addiction Services. When the legislature issued a mandate that those people convicted of a DUI charge receive an evaluation, treatment, and educational services, this department created a special unit to carry this out called the Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP). 

This unit oversees and supervises various IDRCs established on a county or regional basis.

What Does the IDRC Do?

The IDRC will interview and evaluate you and refer you out to a treatment program, if necessary. A first offender is "detained" at a facility in his or her home county for 12 to 48 hours (depending on the sentence), which is spent during two consecutive days of not less than 6 hours per day. A second offender may, at the discretion of the judge, serve his or her jail term in an IDRC facility. In that instance, it is a minimum of 48 hours.

During this "detainment," the staff will conduct an extensive screening and evaluation of you. This is to identify those who may be drug or alcohol abusers or who need a structured intervention into their alcohol or drug use. If, after this, there is a determination of a need for treatment, you will be referred out for same.

What Does the IDRC Use to Determine Need for Treatment?

During the evaluation, there are many factors that are taken into account in the decision on whether to refer for treatment. Those factors are:

  1. Whether you are a repeat offender
  2. Whether your BAC was 0.15% or higher
  3. An analysis of your answers to certain questions used to determine if you are a drug or alcohol abuser
  4. Any prior inpatient or outpatient treatment
  5. Any prior self-help group attendance (e.g. AA or NA)
  6. A driving history showing careless or reckless driving, multiple violations or accidents
  7. Observations by the counselor
  8. Information from outside sources, such as family, physicians, or treatment facilities
  9. Your age

Failure to participate in this program could result in you going to jail, other punishment such as fines, and an indefinite suspension of your license.

So What Do I Do?

You should never try to handle a New Jersey drunk driving charge on your own; the consequences are just too serious not to! So if you have been charged with drunk driving in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule a free consultation.

If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's drunk driving law, then download my free book, How Much Trouble Am I In? A Guide to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law.

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.