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New Jersey DUI Laws

New Jersey DUI Laws specify two instances in which an individual can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI):

The first one involves the per se law in the state of New Jersey that states a person whose blood alcohol content is 0.08% or more, a minor under 21 whose BAC is 0.01% or any amount detectable, and a commercial vehicle driver whose BAC is 0.04% or more can be arrested for DWI.

The other one involves the traditional DWI where an individual is intoxicated with alcohol and/or drugs to the point that his driving skills are impaired. This latter case is determined by the officer on the scene through physical appearance, driving patterns, and field sobriety tests performance.

An implied consent law is then used to request the driver to take a BAC test to determine the alcohol content in the system. You can refuse to take the test but this will result to dire consequences and heavier punishments. This refusal is admissible as evidence in a court trial. In 2005 John’s Law was approved. One of the provisions of this transportation bill is allowing a police officer to impound the vehicle of the drunk driver.

Unlike most US states, New Jersey does not have an administrative hearing to decide on the length of your license suspension. All this, plus the penalties, fines, and other sanctions will be decided by a judge in a criminal court case.

You have to hire a DUI lawyer to represent you in the trial. The lawyer will help you file for a de novo appeal. Your DUI record will be transferred to the Law Division of the Superior Court. Another judge will review your case and this will give you another chance to prove your innocence.

However, if you are proven guilty of DWI, the following sanctions mandated by the court apply:

1. First DWI offense – jail time of up to 30 days, fines from $250 to $400, and license suspension of 3 months. If your BAC is 0.10% or above fines will increase to $300 to $500 and license suspension from 7 months to 1 year;
2. Second DWI offense – jail time of up to 90 days, fines from $500 to $1,000, and license suspension of 2 years; and
3. Third DWI offense – jail time of up to 180 days, fines of up to $1,000, and license suspension of 10 years.

New Jersey DUI Laws also mandate drunk driving arrests to include the following penalties for each offense: surcharge for the drunk driving enforcement fund, motor vehicle restoration fee, violent crimes compensation fee, intoxicated driver program fee, and state and municipality fee that would total to $500.