201707.04
0
0
Breaking Down New Jersey DUI Laws: What You Need to Know
by in News

Driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence is a serious offense in all states. New Jersey DUI laws impose harsh penalties on those who drive under the influence. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher when it’s tested, you will receive a citation for driving under the influence (DUI).

However, if you’re under 21 and caught driving while intoxicated, any BAC of 0.0.01% will earn you a citation. If you’re a CDL driver, the limit is 0.04%. New Jersey’s DUI laws are very complex and carry with them a variety of surcharges, points, and other penalties. First, the state has an implied consent law.

What does that mean? The law requires that the police must measure your BAC if they suspect you of a DUI/DWI. If you refuse and are detained, you may be required to take a blood test and earn other penalties.

The sentences and penalties for a DUI/DWI New Jersey are quite complex. This table presents a complete breakdown of each offense and subsequent penalties.

Refusing Alcotest or Breathalyzer Test

If you’re arrested for a DUI in New Jersey, you must take an Alcotest/Breathalyzer test. You give consent (implied consent) to this test when you get a NJ driver’s license. If you refuse to take the test, you’ll be taken to a hospital and convicted. The penalties are similar to those for a DUI conviction.

First offense:

  • License suspension: 7 months – 1 year/ 1 – 2 Years if in a school zone
  • Fine: $300 – $500
  • Fine (school zone): $500 – $1,000
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) fee: $230/day
  • IDRC Program Participation: 12-hour minimum
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund: $100
  • Surcharge: $1,000/year for three years
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75

Second offense:

  • License suspension: 2 years/ 4 years if in a school zone
  • Fine: $500 – $1,000
  • Fine (school zone): $1,000 – $2,000
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) fee: $230/day
  • IDRC Program Participation: 12-hour minimum
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund: $100
  • Surcharge: $1,000/year for three years
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75

Third and subsequent offenses:

  • License suspension: 10 years/ 20 years if in a school zone
  • Fine: $1,000
  • Fine (school zone): $2,000
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) fee: $230/day
  • IDRC Program Participation: 12-hour minimum
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund: $100
  • Surcharge: $1,500/year for three years
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) defined

New Jersey law defines DUI as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of the two, regardless of blood-alcohol level.

New Jersey law define DWI as driving with a BAC of 0.08%. Anyone whose BAC is 0.08% is prohibited from driving, even if their driving is unimpaired. To prove someone guilty, the police must prove:

  • The person operated a vehicle
  • The BAC was 0.08% or greater while the person was driving

In a trial, even if witnesses and the defendant can prove that the driver was driving as safely and cautiously as someone who’d had nothing to drink, if the jury believes the BAC was 0.08% or higher, they can find that person guilty.

Felony DUI or DWI

Many DUI are treated as misdemeanors; however, when a driver kills or injures someone while driving under the influence, he or she can be sentenced to prison. Prior DUI convictions also result in longer prison sentences.

Penalties

Penalties will vary according to the BAC level and number of offenses. Here’s a list of the most common penalties:

First offense, BAC between 0.08% and 0.09%:

  • License suspension: 3 months
  • Imprisonment: Maximum 30 days
  • Fine: $250 to $400
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): Mandatory 12 to 48 hours
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) Fee: $230.
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund Fee: $100
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75
  • Surcharges: $1,000 per year for 3 years

First offense, BAC 0.10% or higher:

  • License suspension: 7 to 12 months
  • Imprisonment: Maximum 30 days
  • Fine: $300 to $500
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): Mandatory 12 to 48 hours
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) Fee: $230
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund Fee: $100
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75
  • Surcharges: $1,000 per year for 3 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): If BAC is 0.15%+, IID during license suspension and 6 months to 1 year after license restoration.

First offense, under 21 years old:

Drivers under 21 and have a BAC over 0.01% may face fines and imprisonments listed for first offence BAC 0.08 – 0.09% or 0.10% or higher as well as:

Repeated DUI Convictions

Second offense within 10 years:

  • License suspension: Two years
  • Imprisonment: 48 hours – 90 days
  • Fine: $500 to $1,000
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): Mandatory 12 to 48 hours
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) Fee: $280
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund Fee: $100
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75
  • Surcharges: $1,000 per year for 3 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): IID during license suspension and 1 – 3 years after license restoration.

Third offense within 10 years of second offense:

  • License suspension: 10 years
  • Imprisonment: 180 days
  • Fine: $1,000
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): Mandatory 12 to 48 hours
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) Fee: $280
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund Fee: $100
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75
  • Surcharges: $1,500 per year for 3 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): IID during license suspension and 1 – 3 years after license restoration.

New Jersey’s “Step Down” provision

If more than 10 years have passed between DUI/DWI offenses, the judge must treat the second offense as a first offense. Likewise, if more than 10 years have passed between a second and third DUI/DWI, the third DUI/DWI is treated like a second offense. The step-down provision only applies to jail sentences—any administrative penalties, including fines, license suspensions or ignition interlock device (IID) installations are not affected.

Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP)

New Jersey’s IDP administers post-conviction interventions for people convicted of DUI offenses. The program partnered with the Department of Human Services (DHS), Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), and New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) to

  • Administer NJ’s post-conviction DUI offenses system
  • Approve and coordinate IDRCs
  • Recommend license action, whether suspensions or restorations to MVC
  • Manage other issues related to documentation, general information, and public inquiry

Intoxicated Driving Resource Centers (IDRC)

Each of New Jersey’s counties has resource centers for first and third offenders and three regional centers for second offenders.

All offenders are required to attend an alcohol and safety education program. All offenders are also evaluated for alcohol/drug problems. Should an issue be identified, each offender must complete a minimum 16-week treatment program.

Offenders can also supplement their treatments by participating in a self-help group. Centers monitor compliance. They report noncompliance to both the courts and Motor Vehicle Commission. Failure to comply can result in a longer license suspension time and possible jail sentence.

Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)

New Jersey DUI laws require installing an IID in the car driven by a first-time offender if the driver’s BAC was .15% or higher. These drivers must have an IID in their cars for the length of the license suspension and up to one year after the suspension ends. Drivers who receive a second or third DUI/DWI must install IID for up to three years after the license suspension.

What should you do?

If you’re accused of a DUI/DWI, consult a lawyer experienced in this type of law, like Marc Futterweit.  A NJ lawyer can advise you of the New Jersey DUI laws, typical results of local prosecuting offices’ plea bargaining, and implications of a conviction on your driver’s license.


Leave a Reply