Defending Individuals in New Jersey
A charge of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious matter that has the potential to affect every aspect of your life. A conviction carries severe penalties that may include some or all of the following:
- Community service
- Fines, fees and surcharges
- Jail time
- License suspension
- Mandatory installation of ignition interlock device (IID)
Individuals convicted of DUI charges in South Jersey will be forced to pay fines that can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Additionally, offenders will be subject to an insurance surcharge of up to $1,500 that must be paid every year for three years. New Jersey also requires every offender to spend a minimum of 12 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. Furthermore, the DMV retains a permanent record of all DUI convictions and will refer to the record for sentencing purposes for ten years.
With so much at stake, it is essential to have a skilled and experienced South Jersey DUI lawyer to represent you. At the Law Offices of Agre & St. John, we take pride in providing our clients with a vigorous defense to their DUI charge and will work tirelessly to minimize any penalties and protect your rights and driving privileges.
DUI / DWI Overview
Anyone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above 0.08% may be found guilty of drunk driving. The law will come down even harder on those with levels higher than 0.10%. If the offense occurred in a school zone or school crossing, additional penalties may be levied.
In some circumstances, a person can be convicted of drunk driving even if his or her BAC was below the legal limit if it can be proved that the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle was compromised.
- First Offense
First time offenders can have their driving privileges revoked for a minimum of three months, or up to one year, and may face a prison sentence of up to 30 days depending on the level of alcohol detected.
For drivers with a BAC of 0.15% or higher, the state requires the installation of an ignition interlock device that prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has a BAC of 0.05% or higher. The driver must pay for the IID and its maintenance for the duration of their license suspension, and for up to a year following restoration.
- Second Offense – Occurring Within Ten Years of the First Offense
In addition to multiple fines and fees, an individual caught driving under the influence a second time will have their driving privileges revoked for a minimum of two years. They also face a minimum incarceration of 48 hours and may face up to 90 days in jail. Additionally, a repeat offender must perform 30 days of community service. The use of an ignition interlock device is mandatory during the period of suspension and for one – three years after.
- Third and Subsequent Offenses – Within Ten Years of the Second Offense
Drivers convicted for a third or more DUI will spend 180 days in jail and have their license suspended for ten years. They must have an ignition interlock device in use on household vehicles during this time and for one – three years after. They will also be forced to perform 90 days of community service.
Related DUI Charges
- Underage Drinking and Driving
New Jersey applies a zero tolerance law to underage drinkers. Anyone under the age of 21 with a BAC of 0.01% or higher will be subject to fines and a loss or postponement of their driving privileges for 30 – 90 days. They may also be forced to participate in an alcohol and traffic safety education program.
- Commercial Driver DUI
Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than most. The legal limit for those carrying a CLD license is 0.04%. It should be noted that this rule applies to CDL drivers even when they are off duty and driving their own personal vehicles.
- Driving with a Suspended License Due to DWI
This offense carries stiff penalties that include fines, 10 – 90 days in jail, and an additional one to two years suspension of license.
- Refusal of a Breathalyzer Test
Refusing to take a breathalyzer test does not get individuals off the hook for driving while intoxicated. New Jersey has an implied consent rule meaning that if a driver refuses to consent to a breathalyzer or other chemical test, they will be subject to penalties similar to those of drunk driving or worse. In addition to fines ranging from $300 to $1,000, the law requires a minimum license suspension of seven months for first time offenders, two years for a second offense, and ten years for third and subsequent offenses.
- Drunk Driving with a Minor
A DUI conviction will carry an additional disorderly persons offense if a parent or guardian was driving drunk with a passenger under the age of 18.
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
The law also prohibits driving while under the influence of drugs and driving while in possession of drugs. Penalties for these offenses are similar to those handed down for drunk driving.
- Driving with an Open Container
It is illegal to keep an open or unsealed container of alcohol within an arm’s reach of the driver. Penalties include fines, fees and possible community service.
- Tampering with Ignition Interlock Device
Tampering with an ignition interlock device (IID) will result in fines and an additional one year license suspension. Furthermore, anyone caught blowing into the IID for another driver in order to start the car will be charged with a disorderly persons offense.
A South Jersey DUI Lawyer at the Law Offices of Agre & St. John Handles all Types of DUI Cases
A South Jersey DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of Agre & St. John knows that everyone makes mistakes. Whatever your situation, our understanding and compassionate South Jersey DUI lawyers will fight on your behalf to make sure that one mistake does not destroy your life. To find out how we can put our experience and intricate knowledge of New Jersey DUI laws to work for you, call 856-428-7797 today to schedule your free and confidential consultation or contact us online. From our Haddonfield, New Jersey office we serve clients throughout all of Southern New Jersey including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County and Cumberland County.