In New Jersey, you are considered driving under the influence if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or greater. Your blood alcohol level can be tested by a breathalyzer or a blood test. If your blood alcohol level is over 0.10 percent, the penalties you face can be more severe.

Penalties by OffenseLicense SuspensionJail TimeFine
First OffenseUp to 1 YearUp to 30 DaysUp to $500
Second OffenseUp to 2 YearsUp to 90 DaysUp to $1,000
Third OffenseUp to 10 yearsUp to 180 Days$1,000

What You Need to Know About NJ DUI Laws

If you have been arrested under NJ DUI laws, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how to fight these charges and avoid harsh penalties. New Jersey has mandatory penalties imposed on individuals convicted of driving under the influence. If you’re found guilty of a DUI charge, you may have to pay hefty fines, lose your license, and even serve a prison term.

Basics of NJ DUI Laws

A police officer can pull you over if he notes any suspicious behavior that indicates you may have been drinking before getting behind the wheel. A few red flags include driving too slow, swerving from side to side of the road, driving in the wrong lane, and failure to properly use headlights. Once you’re pulled over, he’ll look for the traditional indicators of intoxication. This includes a flushed face, bloodshot eyes, alcohol odor on breath or clothing, slurring words, fumbling movements, stumbling, and disorientation.

Penalties Under NJ DUI Laws

In New Jersey, driving under the influence does not constitute a felony, but is considered a traffic violation. Instead of having a trial with a jury deciding your fate, your sentencing will be handed down by a judge. Also, your attorney will not be able to make a plea deal if you face a DUI conviction.

Mandatory fines and penalties for a first offender start at a three-month loss of license but can go up to one year. Fines and surcharges can cost you thousands of dollars since you’ll have to pay into the Intoxicated Driver Resource Fund, a license surcharge for three years, an Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund, a drunk driving fund, and a Neighborhood Services Fund. Prison terms are up to 30 days and you must also complete an alcohol education course. For repeat offenders, license suspensions can last anywhere from three to ten years. Fines are often doubled, and you could be imprisoned anywhere from 48 hours to 180 days. Community service terms range from 30 to 90 days. Penalties increase if you are charged with any related offenses such as driving with an open container, driving under a DUI suspension, and drug possession.

Fighting NJ DUI Laws

If you’re stopped by a police officer in New Jersey under the suspicion of driving under the influence, you’re not required to give any incriminating answers if he asks you if you’ve been drinking. An officer may go on to request you take a field sobriety test. During a field sobriety test, you may be asked to recite the alphabet, walk heel to toe, or touch your finger to nose. You are not legally required to take a field sobriety test, and if you fail, then this will offer more evidence for criminal prosecution. On the other hand, NJ DUI laws don’t give such leniency if you refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test. For first offenders, you can lose your license up to one year. Second-time offenders can have their license suspended for up to two years.

To fight a DUI charge, you will need an attorney who specializes in DUI defenses. A lawyer will closely inspect police reports to check to see if any mistakes were made during DUI testing and your arrest. An attorney can also examine if there are any issues surrounding the validity of your breathalyzer or blood test results.

If you need an NJ DUI attorney, defense lawyer Douglas Herring specializes in DUI cases. With years of experience as both a criminal prosecutor and defense attorney, he has the expertise to effectively defend his clients against DUI charges.