Q: What does the word operate mean in statue 39:4-50?
Someone advised me that the NJ AG made it clear that “operate” means in forward motion. Which from my understanding would exclude parked vehicles and vehicles running but not in motion.
A: Even if the AG made this clear its up to a judge to determine and unfortunately the courts have made operation not just actual operation but go by whether the person had the ability to operate the vehicle in general. If your charged with a DWI or DUI get a good lawyer as the laws are against you in these cases and only a good lawyer can help you even up the score.
A: Although this offense is referred to as "Driving While Intoxicated," the case law on the DWI statute's "operation" element is much broader than the common understanding of the word "driving." This charge is not categorically indefensible, but it is considerable challenge for a defendant who does not know the intricacies of the law. Get a lawyer who actually knows this area of the law for a fighting chance in court.
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