Regardless if you’ve been charged with a DUI or not, many New Jersey residents have questions concerning the laws and regulations around drinking and driving. Abstaining from consuming alcohol when operating a vehicle is always the safest bet. However, there are always lingering uncertainties around the rules and consequences of drinking and driving. Understanding New Jersey’s DUI law is the best way to navigate these situations. That’s why we composed a list of the top ten frequently asked New Jersey DUI questions and answers to help you be more aware of these rules and regulations.
Frequently Asked New Jersey DUI Questions
1. What could cause an officer to pull me over?
Officers in the state of New Jersey will pull someone over for the same reasons they would in any state. Any kind of traffic violation, such as running a red light, missing a stop sign, or making an illegal turn can result in getting pulled over. However, there are other indicators of a driver being impaired. For instance, officers will likely pull you over if you’re swerving, weaving in and out of lanes, driving too slow or too fast, or driving without headlights at night.
2. What is the New Jersey DUI limit?
This is one of the most frequently asked New Jersey DUI questions. It’s important to know that every state has a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08%. This is the legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol nationwide. Many people will ask how many drinks will equal a .08% BAC, but unfortunately, there’s not an easy answer for this. Anyone’s BAC will depend on their size, weight, what kind of alcohol they’ve been consuming, and how much they’ve consumed. It is important to also know that the national legal limit of BAC for commercial drivers is .04%.
3. Do I have to talk to the officer?
Once you’ve been pulled over, you may not have to say anything at all for an officer to see signs of impairment. For instance, if you smell like alcohol or your eyes are bloodshot the officer will most likely continue to follow DUI protocol. While it’s important to be respectful and answer simple questions like providing your license and registration, other questions may not have to be answered. For instance, you’re not legally required to tell the officer where you’ve been or where you’re going.
Frequently asked New Jersey DUI questions usually involve this one because what you say can incriminate you further, but most people are unsure where to draw the line. It’s always best to keep it simple and not reveal too much information in these instances.
4. Can I refuse a breathalyzer?
Out of all the frequently asked New Jersey DUI questions, this one is probably the most important. You can refuse a breathalyzer in the state of New Jersey, but you will face penalties. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test will result in a suspension of your license, fines, and possible jail time. In most cases, refusing a breathalyzer can have more severe consequences than actually taking it. For instance, if you were under the .08% limit, you may not have proof of your BAC at the time of the DUI due to refusing the test.
5. What happens for a first time DUI offense?
The first time you’re charged with a DUI in New Jersey, you’ll be fined between $200-$500. Your license will be suspended for up to 3 months. You’ll also face up to 30 days in jail.
6. What happens for a second time DUI offense?
The second time you’re charged with a DUI in New Jersey, you’ll be fined between $500-$1,000. Your license will be suspended for up to a year. You’ll face about 90 days of jail time.
7. What happens if I’m charged a third time?
If you’re charged with a DUI for the third time, you’ll be fined $1,000. Your license will be suspended for 10 years and you’ll be imprisoned for 180 days.
8. Should I represent myself if I’m charged with a DUI?
Unless you have a legal background, it is never recommended to represent yourself in a DUI case. A DUI lawyer will know what to look for in these cases to properly defend you.
9. Can a lawyer help me beat the New Jersey DUI charge?
A DUI lawyer will always do their best to help you to beat your charges. They will consider things like the validity of the sobriety tests, how the officers handled the arrest or any other details that can lessen charges or have the charges dropped.
10. When should I contact a lawyer if I’m charged with a DUI?
If you are arrested for a DUI in New Jersey, you must contact a lawyer immediately. Remember that you have the right to remain silent until your lawyer is present. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, contact a DUI lawyer to assist you today.