Finding A DWI Lawyer in New Jersey
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in New Jersey, and it is important to understand the laws surrounding DWI arrests in the state. A New Jersey DWI conviction can result in severe consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. In this article, we will explore the rate of DWI arrests in New Jersey over the past few years and how getting a New Jersey DWI lawyer can help you beat a DWI charge.
DWI vs DUI in New Jersey
While DUI and DWI may often be used interchangeably in general conversation, it’s important to understand that New Jersey law officially uses the term DWI. Anyone facing such charges or wishing to understand the legal landscape of drunk driving in New Jersey would benefit from legal counsel specializing in DWI laws.
In New Jersey, the terms DWI and DUI are often used interchangeably. According to the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety, the state’s statutes officially use the term DWI. Both terms refer to the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants. However, the specifics of how each is defined and treated legally can vary from state to state. In New Jersey, the legal framework primarily uses DWI.
DWI in New Jersey
In the State of New Jersey, a person can be charged with a DWI if they operate a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. The state has a BAC limit of 0.08% to determine intoxication for most drivers, with lower thresholds for drivers under 21 and commercial drivers.
A DWI charge in New Jersey includes impairment not only from alcohol but also from narcotics, hallucinogenics, or other mind-altering drugs.
DUI in New Jersey
While the term DUI is more universally recognized, it is not explicitly defined in New Jersey statutes. Essentially, what would be considered DUI in other states is categorized as DWI in New Jersey. This includes both alcohol and drug impairment.
DWI Arrest Rates in New Jersey
According to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, there were at least 1,208 DWI arrests in New Jersey in 2020. This marks a significant decrease from the at least 4,645 DWI arrests made in 2019. The pandemic most certainly played a role in this reduction, but the exact scope of that role is up for debate. The majority of DWI arrests in New Jersey occur in Bergen, Ocean, and Monmouth counties.
Penalties for DWI in New Jersey
The penalties for a DWI in New Jersey can be severe, depending on the circumstances of the case. The following is a general overview of the penalties for DWI in New Jersey:
First DWI in New Jersey
- A fine of $250 to $400
- License suspension for three months
- Possible jail time of up to 30 days
- Mandatory participation in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
Second DWI in New Jersey
- A fine of $500 to $1,000
- License suspension for two years
- Mandatory jail time of at least 48 hours, up to 90 days
- Mandatory participation in the IDRC
Third DWI in New Jersey
- A fine of $1,000
- License revocation for 10 years
- Mandatory jail time of at least 180 days, up to six months
- Mandatory participation in the IDRC
It is important to note that these penalties are a general overview and that the specific penalties for DWI in New Jersey may vary depending on the circumstances of the case.
Ignition Interlock Devices
In addition to the above penalties, New Jersey also requires the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for some DWI offenders. An IID is a device that is installed in a vehicle that requires the driver to blow into it before the car will start. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car will not start.
In New Jersey, an IID is required for:
- Second and subsequent DWI offenses
- First offense with a BAC of 0.15 or higher
- First offense with a passenger under the age of 18 in the vehicle
The cost of installing and maintaining an IID can be substantial, and it is important to discuss the potential requirement of an IID with your New Jersey DWI lawyer.
How a New Jersey DWI Lawyer Can Help You Beat a DWI Charge
If you have been charged with a DWI in New Jersey, it is essential to seek the assistance of an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer. An experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer can provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need to help you beat your DWI charge.
One of the main ways that a New Jersey DWI lawyer can help you beat a DWI charge is by investigating the circumstances surrounding your arrest. This includes reviewing the police report, blood alcohol content (BAC) test results, and any other evidence that may have been gathered by the arresting officer.
Your New Jersey DWI lawyer may also question the officer’s actions during the arrest, such as whether they had probable cause to stop you in the first place or if they followed proper procedure during the arrest.
Top New Jersey DWI Lawyers
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