Attorney at Law

Local Law Lookup: New Jersey DWI Law

March 24, 2023

Federal laws are by necessity, broad, and in many states, more specific laws are supplemented to provide the specificity and breadth that each state is looking for. One of the many diverse areas where laws diverge is how states choose to deal with drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Today, Attorney at Law has turned our focus to New Jersey, who recently overhauled their penalty system, to give a broad overview of their laws for driving while intoxicated (DWI). While not a comprehensive analysis, this article seeks to provide a broad overview of some notable parts of the DWI laws in New Jersey. 

One of the first things to note is that New Jersey’s penalties for first-time offenders are split into categories by blood alcohol content (BAC). For drivers with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.10 offenders face:

  • Forfeiture of the driver’s license pending ignition interlock device installation for a minimum of 90 days
  •  A fine ranging from $250-$400
  • Imprisonment not exceeding 30 days
  • At least 12 hours served at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center

If the first-time offender’s BAC is between 0.10 and 0.15, the fine amount increases to $300-$500 and the ignition interlock device period becomes 7 months - 1 year of mandatory use. If the defendant has a BAC exceeding 0.15, the fines remain the same but the ignition interlock installation period extends to 15 months and the license is also suspended for 4-6 months. 

New Jersey’s DWI law also covers driving under the influence of drugs. Penalties for driving under the influence of drugs carry the same penalties as driving with a BAC of 0.10 - 0.15.

If a defendant is found guilty, these penalties can uproot their life. That’s why if you have been charged with DWI while in New Jersey, you should contact an attorney experienced in DWI cases. 

Plea bargaining is illegal. Prosecutors are not required to bargain and can simply argue for the maximum sentence straight out of the gate.

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