New Jersey DWI/DUI Charges Explained

The drinking & driving laws in New Jersey are very complex. It is important to understand the laws, the arrest process and the penalties of a DWI conviction. People can have misconceptions about the penalties, the field sobriety test and the requirements to perform a breath tests. However, experienced DWI lawyers will know all of this information and be able to provide an explanation of all aspects of a DWI charge.

What Does Driving Under The Influence Mean?

man being stopped by police

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) is a violation of the law under New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. These terms are used interchangeably and basically mean exactly the same thing in New Jersey. The New Jersey State statute provides a detailed explanation of the penalties including things like license suspension, Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program participation and other consequences. A DWI/DUI charge applies to driving under the influence of either alcoholic beverages or drugs. When seeking advice about drunk driving charges, it is crucial to select a reputable law firm that has experience with DWI/DUI cases.

Being Arrested For Drunk Driving In Ocean County

Before a police officer makes an arrest for drunk driving, a series of steps are performed to determine if the driver is too impaired to operate a motor vehicle. The first step is for the police officer to observe a driver's actions while behind the wheel of their vehicle. If the person is driving recklessly or erratically, the officer will have probable cause to perform a traffic stop. The officer will then pull over the suspect vehicle and approach the driver. From this point the officer will conduct an interviewed and request the drivers documents. If the officer observes slurred speech, open containers, drug paraphernalia or the smell of alcohol or pot on the drivers breath, the officer will have the driver step out of their vehicle and then administer field sobriety tests. If the driver fails the field sobriety test the officer will then place the accused under arrest and take them to the police station.

Once in police custody, the accused will be observed for at least twenty minutes and then asked to provide a breath sample using the Alcotest® breath test device. The breath test will determine your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and the arresting officer will use these results to determine whether or not to issue the driver a summons for driving while impaired. If you refuse to submit to a breath samples, you will be charged with refusing a breath test—an offense with as severe penalties as a DWI. Your arraignment date will be the court date on the drunk driving ticket the police had issued you at the time of your release from jail. If you have been issued a summons for a DUI/DWI you will need to contact a lawyer after your released from jail in order to fight the charges.

What Is The Legal Limit For Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) In New Jersey

When you are arrested for a DWI, you will be administered a breath test while in police custody. This test will determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in your system and in most municipalities in New Jersey the standard device for determining your BAC is called the Dräger Alcotest® 7110. This device uses two different scientific measurements to determine an accuse BAC and is widely accept in the New Jersey Courts as being an accurate measurement. The breath test will determine the amount of alcohol in your blood stream and the higher the number the more alcohol in your system and the more drunk you will likely be. The legal limit in New Jersey is a 0.08% BAC.

A driver aged twenty-one and older with a BAC of 0.08% or above, will be charged with a DWI. However, there are exceptions in some circumstances to the 0.08% BAC. If a driver under the age of twenty-one is found with any trace of alcohol in their system (BAC 0.01%), they will be charged with a DWI. CDL licensed drivers who drive  commercial vehicles with a BAC of 0.04% or higher will be issued a DWI charge.

DWI Consequences In Monmouth/Ocean County

A DWI conviction means that a judge has found the driver guilty of driving while intoxicated. When a driver pleas guilty or is found guilty of DWI/DUI, there are consequences based on whether it is the defendant's first, second, third or subsequent DWI conviction. The consequences include penalties imposed ranging from $250 to $1,000. The driver can be sent to jail for up to 180 days. Other consequences may include the following: participation in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program, insurance surcharges of $3,000 to $4,500, driver's license suspension for three months to ten years, and installation of an ignition interlock device for certain offenders.

Get The Assistance Of A NJ DWI Lawyer Today!

At Villani & DeLuca, P.C., our DWI defense lawyers have the credentials and experience to defend and counsel individuals regarding DWI arrests and convictions. We will explain all pending charges and will build a defense to have the charges reduced or dropped. Our law firm is conveniently located in Point Pleasant Beach and represents clients facing DWI charges in Ocean County and Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Resources For Drunk Driving In New Jersey

What Is The Legal Limit For BAC In New Jersey?

Understanding DWI vs. DUI in NJ

DWI Breath Testing In New Jersey

Understanding The Field Sobriety Test In NJ

If you have recently been charged with DWI or refusal in New Jersey call Villani & DeLuca, P.C. today to schedule your FREE consultation with one of our DWI lawyers. Start preparing your defense against these harsh and costly drunk driving penalties by calling 732-372-0820 today!