Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in New Jersey. Individuals who violate New Jersey’s DWI laws are subject to a wide range of penalties depending on the circumstances of the offense. Once a driver has consumed enough alcohol to be over the legal limit, they can be charged with a DWI offense. Unfortunately, drivers are sometimes arrested when they are not above NJ’s legal alcohol limit. Drivers dragged into the criminal justice system due to a borderline DWI offense may suffer consequences that affect various parts of their life. If you or a family member was charged with a DWI, you should contact an experienced New Jersey DWI defense lawyer.
The attorneys at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates have gained years of experience representing clients in DWI cases and will utilize that experience to represent you. Our legal professionals will work tirelessly to help you achieve the legal outcome you deserve in your DWI case. For your free consultation, call us at (215) 372-8667 or reach us online.
Being Charged with DWI in New Jersey
In New Jersey, any person who drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics can be charged with a DWI. To determine whether a driver is intoxicated, NJ administers a breathalyzer or chemical test. If a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or greater, they can be charged with a DWI. BAC refers to the level of alcohol present in a person’s bloodstream.
In some circumstances, a driver can be charged with DWI if they were under the .08 threshold. For example, if a police officer observes you driving erratically but your BAC is below .08, you may still be charged with a DWI. If you are under 21 and possess a BAC of .01 or higher, you may also be charged with a DWI.
The Penalties for a DWI in New Jersey
Generally speaking, New Jersey takes a punitive approach to first-time offenders. However, the penalties are harsh and can greatly impact your ability to live your life. A first offense of DWI with a BAC of .08 or higher, but less than .10, carry penalties such as:
- Up to a $400 fine
- Three-month driver’s license suspension
- Imprisonment for up to 30 days
- Participation in a supervised visitation program
- Installation of an interlock device for up to one year
An ignition interlock device measures a driver’s BAC before they can start their vehicle. If a driver with an interlock device tries to deceive the device by having a sober individual start their car, the convicted offender and the other individual may be charged with an offense.
First Offense DWIs
The penalties for a first offense with a BAC of .10 or higher is similar to a .08 BAC offense. However, an offender with a BAC of .10 or higher will have their license suspended at least seven months but not more than a year. If you are charged with a second DWI offense, you may receive a two-year license suspension and up to 90 days in prison. The fine for a second offense also carries up to $1,000 in fines.
The penalties for a third DWI offense is especially severe. For example, you may face up to 180 days in prison, and the court may order you to serve 90 of those days at an alcohol inpatient rehabilitation program. Additionally, your driver’s license may be suspended for 10 years.
DWIs on School Property
In New Jersey, you can also be charged with DWI while on school property. For a first offense DWI on school property, you may receive a 60-day prison sentence and license suspension for up to two years. A second offense carries a four-year license suspension, a mandatory 60 days of community service, and up to 180 days in prison. The penalty for a third DWI on school property will result in a license suspension of 20 years, beginning after the completion of any prison sentence. A third-time offender may also be charged with up to 180 days in prison or a mandatory rehabilitation program.
DWI offenses in New Jersey may also cost you a significant sum of money for various fines:
- a $100 Drunk Driving Enforcement Fundsurcharge
- a $100 Motor Vehicle Commission restoration fee
- a $100 Intoxicated Driving Programfee
- a Safe and Secure Community Programfee of $75
- a Violent Crimes Compensation Fundfee of $50
Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Fight Your DWI Charge
If you or a family member is facing a DWI charge, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI criminal defense attorney today. The diligent attorneys at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates will help you fight your DWI case and reclaim your driver’s license. To schedule a free consultation for your case, call us or contact us online.