During the summer months, many residents from New York travel down to the New Jersey beaches of Point Pleasant, Long Beach Island or Asbury Park for weekend getaways and long summer vacations. It is not uncommon for out-of-state residents to be unfamiliar with New Jersey state laws and, as a result, make the mistake of having too much to drink before operating a motor vehicle. In New Jersey, any driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% during a traffic stop will be charged with a DWI in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. The DWI laws of New Jersey are some of most restrictive in this country and drivers who are convicted can expect expensive fines and suspension of their ability to drive in this state. For any driver from New York these penalties may not appear to be threatening especially if they do not have any intentions to return to New Jersey anytime soon. However, it may come as a surprise to many drivers that upon returning home their driving privileges in New York will also have been suspended. At Villani & Deluca our firm represents clients facing DWI convictions in Monmouth and Ocean County areas, which contain many of New Jersey's beaches. If, while visiting the many beach towns of the Jersey Shore, you are charged with a DWI our experienced traffic defense attorneys can make the difference in the consequences you face in your home state.
Why Your Driving Privileges Are Affected In Your Home State For An Out Of State Incident
Currently, 45 states are members of the Interstate Driver's License Compact which is essentially an agreement for each state to exchange and report information regarding motor vehicle violations. What this means is that if your state is a part of the IDLC, any violations you are charged with in another state will be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your home state. Whether the offense was a simple moving violation or a more serious offense such as DWI or DUI, once reported your state will enforce its own penalties for the offense. Every state has different penalties and standards for DWI or DUI and the primary purpose of the IDLC is to ensure that drivers who commit these offenses do not escape liability simply by leaving the state.
First time DWI penalties in New Jersey
A first offense for DWI in New Jersey will subject the driver to: a fine of $250-$500, up to 30 days in jail, mandatory participation at an Intoxicated Driver's Resource Center and a driver's license suspension for a minimum of 3 months. In New Jersey the extent of the penalties a driver will face can be increased depending on what their level of intoxication was at the time of the stop. For example if a driver has a 0.10% blood alcohol concentration or higher they may now have their license suspended for 7 months-1 year, see increases in the amount of fines they owe and may also be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. For a 0.15% reading or higher, the installation of the ignition interlock device is mandatory.
First Time DWI Penalties In New York
Drinking and driving laws in New York are listed in N.Y. Veh. & Traf Law § 1192. Like New Jersey the legal limit for a driver's blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% and if convicted the driver will face a fine between $500-$1000, installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle, and a driver's license suspension for a minimum of 6 months. New York also has several classifications for DWI offenses, such as driving while ability impaired (DWAI) or aggravated DWI (A-DWI). DWAI is the offense for drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration below the 0.08% legal limit but still show signs of impairment due to alcohol or drugs. New York also has a combination DWAI for drivers when the impairment is caused by both. If the person's BAC is 0.18% or above when they provide a breath sample, that person will now be charged with aggravated DWI which calls for a 1 year suspension of a driver's license and a fine between $1,000-$2,500.
Speak To A DWI Defense Lawyer Today To Protect Your License
Whether you were charged with a DWI during a visit to Long Beach Island, Seaside Heights, Lacey or Point Pleasant Beach our firm's 20 years of experience can be critical in your case. Our firm has represented out of state clients who are facing DWI in New Jersey or points on their driver's license which could lead to a suspension. When facing these penalties it is important to seek legal representation as our lawyers can work with you to find solutions or offer advice to those drivers with multi-state residence. It is important to note that in New Jersey there are no hardship or temporary conditional driver's licenses a person can receive once convicted of DWI. Due to the IDLC each state has the discretion to apply its own DWI laws.