DWI And Illegal Drugs Penalties In New Jersey

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New Jersey's laws and regulations regarding the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence apply whether you are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The one main difference between the two is the way in which your intoxication level is detected by law enforcement.

If a driver is suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), he or she must submit to breath testing for confirmation. If the driver refuses testing, he or she will face a second charge for refusal, which comes with additional penalties. However, if it is suspected that the driver is under the influence of narcotics, which won't be detected in a breath sample, he or she may be asked to submit to a blood or urine test instead. This type of testing is conducted after standardized field sobriety tests are administered by the arresting officer at the site of the initial traffic stop.

Drug Possession - N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10A(4)

When someone is caught driving under the influence of drugs there is the additional possibility that the driver will have drugs in their possession within the vehicle. If the police officer has arrested you for a DWI he has probable cause to search your vehicle. While searching the vehicle, if he finds drugs in your car you will be charged with drug possession  N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10A(4) in addition to the DWI. Depending on the amount of drugs found, you might be charged with possession with intent to sell N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, which comes with heightened penalties.

NJ Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs Penalties

The penalties for DWI/DUI convictions are similar for defendants who were driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The biggest change is for first-time offenders. For example, whereas alcohol cases have different penalties depending on the BAC level of a first time offender, those facing a driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) violation are subject to the penalties of a higher tier DWI similar to those charged with BAC of 0.10% or higher. The potential punishment for DUI drug offenses are outlined below.

1st Offense DUI (Drug) Penalties

  • 7 months to 1 year driving privilege suspension
  • $300-$500 fine
  • 12-48 hours at intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC)
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,000/year for 3 years
  • $100 DUI enforcement surcharge
  • 6 months – 1 year installation of ignition interlock device after restoration of driving privileges (at judge's discretion)

2nd Offense DUI (Drug) Penalties

  • 2 years driving privilege suspension
  • $500-$1,000 fine
  • 30 days community service
  • 12-48 hours at intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC)
  • 48 hours – 90 days in jail
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,000/year for 3 years
  • $100 DUI enforcement surcharge
  • Required installation of ignition interlock device during suspension and for 1-3 years after restoration of driving privileges

3rd or Subsequent Offense DUI (Drug) Penalties

  • 10 years driving privilege suspension
  • $1,000 fine
  • Up to 90 days community service
  • 12-48 hours at intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC)
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,500/year for 3 years
  • $100 DUI enforcement surcharge
  • Required installation of ignition interlock device during suspension and for 1-3 years after restoration of driving privileges

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs in New Jersey, you need an experienced DUI attorney's. Call the DWI lawyers of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. at 732-965-3999 for a FREE initial consultations. Our attorneys have the skills and experience to aggressively defend driving under the influence of drugs cases. Call today!

Act Now Before It's Too Late!

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Mistakes happen all of the time. If a mistake was made by the police or the New Jersey prosecution it should not hurt you and your family. Our experienced NJ DWI Defense Lawyers at Villani & DeLuca regularly protect the legal rights of people who have been charged with DWI / DUI or breath test refusal. This traffic offense carries the possibility of jail time and costly fines in New Jersey. The stakes are too high and the possible effects can last for years. A strong legal defense can often convince the courts to have your drunk driving charges dismissed or reduced so don't risk your future by trying to defend yourself against a DUI! Contact Villani & Deluca today for a FREE case evaluation on all your pending drunk driving charges.

This website is designed for information purposes only and should not be construed as formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

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