DWI Laws in New Jersey

Here are the important facts about DWI in New Jersey.

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In New Jersey, you can get a DWI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in New Jersey says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in New Jersey and other details about New Jersey DWI law.

In New Jersey, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DWI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in New Jersey, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

7 month license revocation

2 year license revocation

2 year license revocation

 

In New Jersey, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In New Jersey, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. (Note that New Jersey law also allows for a DWI conviction based only on allowing another person to drive your vehicle, if you know they're intoxicated).. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DWI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .01%. Additional penalties include community service and a 30-90 day immediate license suspension, and if under 17, immediate license suspension until 17th birthday.

What are the minimum jail times for a DWI in New Jersey?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DWI in New Jersey, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

12 hours jail

2 days jail

90 days jail

 

How long will prior DWI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, prior DWI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for 10 years.

Can a DWI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in New Jersey?

A defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. There is no statutory provision on whether a wet reckless plea bargain will be accepted in your state, but it's possible a lawyer may be able to create a plea bargain for you.

If you are interested in contacting a lawyer, you can find a DWI lawyer in your area in Nolo's Lawyer Directory.

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DWI offenders in New Jersey?

A court may order an ignition interlock device be used for a first offense, but they are required to be used for second and subsequent offenses, for a minimum period of 6 months for a first offense and 1 year for second and subsequent offenses.

Where can I get more information about DWI laws in New Jersey?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DWI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of New Jersey DWI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

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