A look at New Jersey DWI

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

All states make drunk driving against the law, even if they call it different initials. New Jersey refers to drunk driving as DWI, or driving while intoxicated under the influence of certain drugs or alcohol. Drivers in Woodland Park, New Jersey may face several stiff penalties if they get convicted for DWI.

Overview of New Jersey DWI

Like most states, New Jersey makes operating a motor vehicle illegal with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. The BAC for commercial drivers reduces to .04 for commercial drivers, and the Zero Tolerance Law sets BAC at .02 for drivers under 21. However, even if divers register under the BAC limit, they still may face a DWI based on tests.

Per se DWI applies when the driver gets convicted on BAC alone, and prosecution needs no further proof. The vehicle does not need to be in operation for the driver to get charged, but the criminal defense could disprove intent.

Penalties for DWI

A first DWI charge may include penalties of a $250-$500 fine, 12 to 48 hours of alcohol education, and up to 30 days of jail. New Jersey removed license suspension for first DWI offenses for a BAC below .15, but an ignition lock device is required for each offense level. However, driver’s license suspension remains a penalty for first offenders who register a BAC over .15.

A second offense commonly includes fines of $500 to $1,000, and 48 hours to 90 days in jail. The license may get suspended for up to two years and the driver must complete the full alcohol education program. Enhanced penalties may apply if the driver had a minor in the vehicle, got arrested near a drug-free zone, or refused a chemical test.

The driver pays for DWI long after the sentencing with higher insurance rates. However, sometimes mistakes are made during stops, and valid defenses may clear the charges.