NJ DUI Glossary

The New Jersey DUI laws consist of many legal terms that need to be defined to better understand an arrest and other aspects of driving under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, habit producing drugs, prescription pills and over-the-counter medications. Below are explanations of some of the most common DUI-related terms used in New Jersey.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) - or blood alcohol concentration - It is the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream measurable by percentages ranging from 0.01 percent and above. In the State of New Jersey, an individual with a BAC of 0.01% can be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol if they are under the age of twenty-one and 0.08% BAC for those over the age of 21. There are three ways BAC is measured: breath, blood or urine.

Breathalyzer is a machine that administers breath tests with estimates of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. The Dräger Alcotest® 7110 is the breathalyzer used by law enforcement throughout New Jersey.

Breath Test is a test that measures blood alcohol concentration by use of a breathalyzer device to test an individual's breath samples.

Defendant is an individual charged with committing a crime, disorderly persons offense, motor vehicle violation or town ordinance in a New Jersey court of law.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a legal term for operating an automobile while under the influence of any intoxicating substances such as, alcohol, narcotics and habit producing drugs. The illegal blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.08% or higher for those twenty one years of age and older and 0.01% or above for those under the age of twenty one years. In New Jersey DUI / DWI are the same thing. 

DUI Arrest is when an individual is arrested and placed in custody of a police officer on suspicion of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

DUI Conviction is proof of a defendant's guilt in a court of law. It is when a judge finds a defendant guilty and convicts him or her for driving while intoxicated. DUI conviction carries penalties including driver's license suspension, fines, participation in IDRC programs and ignition interlock device installation, among others.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) means an individual is driving while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics and other substances that cause impairment to operate a motor vehicle. In New Jersey DUI / DWI are the same thing.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) One of the three SFST. The officer administrating this test will have the accuse follow stimulus with their eyes while having their head remain still. The office will be looking to see if their is a lack of smooth motion of the eye from side to side, look for nystagmus which is repetitive, uncontrolled eye movements, and  does the eye start to jerk before it has moved through a 45 degree angle.

Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) any person convicted of an DUI in New Jersey will be required to take part in post-conviction intervention for drugs and alcohol

Ignition Interlock Device is a device attached to an automobile's engine and is used to prevent the driver from drinking and driving. The driver's breath is tested before the automobile can start. If the BAC is above the recommended limit, the automobile's engine locks to stop the driver from driving. In New Jersey, the ignition interlock device may be a penalty for those convicted of DWI with a BAC above 0.08 percent.

Implied Consent is the phrase used to describe the implied acceptance of submission to breath tests when requested by New Jersey law enforcement when suspected of driving while intoxicated. The penalties for drivers who refuse a breath test upon being asked can include fines, detainment and license suspension, among others.

One Leg Stand One of the three SFST. The one-leg stand consists of a driver standing for 30 seconds with one leg six inches off the ground with their toe pointed, while looking at their foot and simultaneously counting by one thousands (one thousand-one, one thousand-two, etc).

Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is a test administered at the time of a traffic stop used to make an assessment of the driver's impairment level due to alcohol or drug use. There is a series of standardized tests developed by the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration). Officers are required to have training and follow certain procedures for performing these tests.The three test used in New Jersey are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand.

Walk and Turn One of the three SFST. The arresting office will explain the directions of this test and demonstrate the motion of the test before asking the driver to repeat their actions. The officer instructs the diver to place one foot in front of the other in a straight line with the heel of one foot touching the toes of the other. The office will ask the driver to take nine heel-to-toe steps, turn around and take another nine heel-to-toe steps back to the starting point.

Zero Tolerance is a policy applicable to drivers under the age of twenty one years who are not legally allowed to drink alcohol in the State of New Jersey. It allows for DUI penalties for underage drinking with any alcohol consumption and a BAC of 0.01 percent or higher.