In New Jersey, driving under the Influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) are serious motor vehicle violations. Drunk driving offenders face significant penalties. Under New Jersey law, suspected drunk driving offenders are prosecuted either by a field sobriety test performance and driving pattern, or if a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher.
Individuals have a right to refuse a breathalyzer test or blood test following a DUI or DWI traffic stop; however, because of New Jersey’s implied consent law, which requires the driver to take a chemical test, an individual can be subject to penalties and fines upon their refusal. Drivers who refuse a breathalyzer or blood test on the first offense can have their license revoked for seven months, on the second offense they can face a two year suspension, and for a third offense drivers can lose their license for ten years.
DWI convictions in New Jersey remain on an individual’s driving record forever and can affect future sentencing of additional DUI/DWI offenses. Drivers arrested for a DWI in New Jersey are only permitted to a court trial wherein a judge decides the verdict based on the evidence. If the driver is found guilty, they have a right to appeal to a higher court where a different judge will hear the facts of the case to rule as to their guilt or innocence.
New Jersey’s zero tolerance law applies to drivers under the age of 21. Underage drivers with a blood alcohol level over 0.01% are charged with underage drinking and disorderly conduct. Consequences of underage drinking can include loss of driving privileges, community service hours, and participation in traffic safety programs.
When drivers are convicted of violating New Jersey DWI law, penalties and fines are given based on number of convictions and the BAC. Furthermore, each additional offense has a punishment that consists of harsher consequences in terms of fines, jail time, and driver license penalties.
Penalties for Violating New Jersey DWI Laws
- First Offense
A driver can be fined up to $400 and face imprisonment for 30 days. A first-time offender faces a mandatory license suspension of no less than three months and up to 12 months. They will also be subject to an automobile surcharge for three years. In addition, a court can order the driver to attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
- Second Offense
A driver can be fined up to $1,000 and face imprisonment for at least 48 hours and up to 90 days. They can also have their license suspended for two years and will be subject to an automobile surcharge for three years. In addition, a court can order the individual to attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. It is mandatory for a repeat offender to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their car for one to three years after license restoration.
- Third Offense
A driver can be fined up to $1,000 and face imprisonment of 180 days. They can also have their licensed suspended for ten years and will be subject to an automobile surcharge for three years. A court can order the individual to be detained in an in-patient alcoholism treatment program. In addition, an ignition interlock device is required for one to three years after license restoration for a third offense.
South Jersey DUI Lawyers at the Law Offices of Agre & St. John Provide Aggressive Representation for those Charged with DUI
A New Jersey DUI charge is a serious offense that carries severe consequences which can negatively impact an individual’s life. South Jersey criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Agre & St. John provide aggressive defense to minimize penalties and protect the rights of those facing South Jersey DUI charges. If you or someone you know is facing traffic violations in South Jersey, call us at 856-428-7797 to schedule your free confidential consultation or contact us online. Our Haddonfield, New Jersey law offices serves clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Gloucester County, Cumberland County, and Salem County.