DUI & DWI Laws in Wall, New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, you can be found guilty of driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated if you are found to be operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater.

However, you can still be convicted even if your BAC is below 0.08, or if you are under the influence of other drugs or narcotics if the alcohol or drugs negatively impact your ability to drive.

New Jersey DWI Penalties

Drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from having a blood alcohol content of 0.01 percent or more. If a driver under the age of 21 has a BAC of 0.01 to 0.08, they will face a license revocation of 30 to 90 days, face 15 to 30 days’ community service, and be required to participate in an intoxicated driver resource center program.

In addition to the penalties below, which increase for every successive DWI conviction you incur, you may be required to pay fees into various public funds. The trial court may also order the revocation of the registration for the vehicle you were operating when you were arrested for DWI.

New Jersey First Offense

If you are facing your first offense for driving while intoxicated, the penalties you could face will depend on some specific factors:

  • If your BAC is higher than 0.08 but less than 0.10 – A fine of $250 to $400, imprisonment of up to 30 days, forfeiture of driver’s license until an ignition interlock is installed in your vehicle (which much remained installed for three months), two days attendance at an intoxicated driver resource center, and a $3,000 surcharge to be paid to the DMV over a three-year period
  • If your BAC is higher than 0.10 but less than 0.15 – A fine of $300 to $500, imprisonment for up to 30 days, forfeiture of driver’s license until an ignition interlock is installed in your vehicle (which much remained installed for seven months to one year), two days attendance at an intoxicated driver resource center, a $3,000 surcharge to be paid to the DMV over a three-year period
  • If your BAC is higher than 0.15 – In addition to the above penalties, license suspension of four to six months, along with operating an ignition interlock for nine to 15 months once driving privileges are reinstated.
  • If charged with a refusal – A fine of $300 to $500, imprisonment for up to 30 days, forfeiture of driver’s license until an ignition interlock is installed in your vehicle (which much remained installed for seven months to one year), two days attendance at an intoxicated driver resource center, and a $3,000 surcharge to be paid to the DMV over a three-year period.

New Jersey Second Offense

If you are convicted of a second DWI offense including a refusal within 10 years of a prior DWI offense, you can face penalties of:

  • A fine of $500 to $1,000
  • Imprisonment of 48 hours to 90 days
  • License suspension of 12 to 24 months
  • Completion of the program requirements of an intoxicated driver resource center
  • 30 days of community service
  • A $3,000 surcharge to be paid to the DMV over a three-year period
  • Installation of an ignition interlock during period of license suspension and two to four years thereafter

If your most recent prior DWI offense was more than 10 years before your present offense, your present offense will be treated as a first offense.

New Jersey Third Offense

If you are convicted of a third or subsequent DWI offense including a refusal within 10 years of a prior DWI offense, you may face penalties of:

  • A fine of $1,000
  • Imprisonment of 180 days, although up to 90 days may be served in an inpatient alcohol rehabilitation program
  • Eight-year license suspension following
  • 30 days’ community service
  • Completion of the program requirement of an intoxicated driver resource center
  • An automobile insurance surcharge of $1,500 for three years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock during period of license suspension and two to four years thereafter

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Anyone convicted of a first offense DWI for driving under the influence of drugs, including prescriptions, must be sentenced to the following:

  • a seven-month to one-year suspension of driving privileges
  • a $3,000 surcharge to be paid to the DMV over a three-year period
  • a mandatory period requiring an ignition interlock device be installed on a car owned or operated by the defendant
  • 12-48 hours of attendance of the Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center (IDRC)
  • fines and penalties to the Court in excess of $500

Like other DWIs, convictions for second offense drug DWIs have enhanced penalties including additional fines, community service, and an escalating license suspension of one to two years.

Convictions for third offense Drug DWI’s require a mandatory 180 days in in the county jail, and at least an eight-year suspension of driving privileges following the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Common Types of DWI Cases We Handle

At Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC, our DWI/DUI defense attorneys have experience helping clients defend themselves against all different kinds of DWI cases, including:

  • DWIs with a BAC under 0.08
  • DWIs with a BAC of 0.08 to 0.10
  • DWIs with a BAC of 0.10 or more
  • Driving with an open container
  • Driving with a license previously suspended for DWI
  • DWIs for drivers under the age of 21
  • DWI in or near school zones
  • Refusing a breathalyzer or blood test
  • Driving while in possession of drugs or narcotics

In addition, our attorneys have successfully helped clients resolve charges with issues such as:

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I recommend them to everyone, they are the best! And will actually fight for you and know people to talk to. I would recommend them for anything and everything.

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[Ryan Clark] is a very knowledgeable and respectable lawyer hands down. I was recommended to him by one of my coworkers who knows him very well and honestly it was the best choice I ever made. I thank him and my coworker for his excellent recommendation.

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Breathalyzer Evidence

In some cases, we can have the results of a breathalyzer test excluded from evidence by challenging the reliability of the results on grounds, such as:

  • The officer who conducted the test was not trained or experienced in using the breathalyzer equipment.
  • The officer failed to obtain an adequate breath sample.
  • The breathalyzer equipment was not adequately calibrated.

Unlawful Stop

We may be able to challenge the legality of the traffic stop, which may result in the exclusion of all evidence from the stop, such as field sobriety test results, breathalyzer test results, or blood alcohol test results.

We may be able to prove that officers lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop your vehicle. If you were stopped at a DWI checkpoint, we may be able to challenge the checkpoint procedure, particularly if officers were not using an objective standard to stop vehicles.

Illegal Search and Seizure

If you are facing additional charges stemming from your DWI arrest, such as possession of an open container or possession of narcotics, we may be able to challenge the police’s search of your vehicle as unlawful.

Drunk-Driver Accidents and Manslaughter/Death by Auto Charges

If you have been charged with causing property damage, personal injury, or death in a motor vehicle accident while you were intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, you could be facing serious consequences, including massive fines and prison sentences. Our firm can help you defend against charges of aggravated assault by auto or vehicular manslaughter when you are suspected to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs in your accident.

Differences Between DWI & DUI

The difference between DWI and DUI under New Jersey law is insignificant, and the terms are often used interchangeably.

Some states have differing charges for DWI vs DUI, but New Jersey does not.

DWI FAQ

A driving while intoxicated charge can create an incredible amount of stress in your life. We know that you’re going to have questions, and we’ve provided answers to a few frequent concerns below. If you don’t see your question, please contact us so that you can speak with a Wall NJ DWI lawyer directly.

Can I Get a DWI Conviction Expunged from My Record?

Unfortunately, no. Because DWI is considered a motor vehicle offense rather than a criminal offense, a conviction is not eligible for expungement, even after many years have passed.

What is a Wet Reckless Driving Charge?

This is a motor vehicle offense that is less serious than DWI. It’s sometimes possible to obtain a plea bargain that reduces your charge to a wet reckless offense, although you should first determine whether it’s possible to have your drunk driving charge fully dismissed.

Can I Refuse to Take a Sobriety Test in New Jersey?

New Jersey has an implied consent law, which means that you’re considered to have already agreed to submit to a chemical or breath test simply by getting behind the wheel. If you refuse, you can be fined and will likely have your driver’s license revoked.