Covering DWI Offense Elements for Motorists in New Jersey
Summary: The state of New Jersey outlines the penalties and standards used for punishing motorists suspected of driving while intoxicated. The punishments are often determined by a number of factors, including the number of offenses, the level of blood alcohol content or any refusal to submit to a field sobriety test. Understanding DWI offense elements is beneficial for your DWI case.
In New Jersey, driving while intoxicated can apply to a person operating a motor vehicle or permitting another person to operate a motor vehicle. The subject may be under the influence of an intoxicating, habit-producing drug, such as alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can substantially reduce physical capabilities as well as mental faculties. By law, the state of New Jersey can obtain a DWI conviction based solely on the observed evidence of the driver by a police officer. The state may also reach a DWI conviction if the motorist has a blood alcohol content of a least .08 while operating a motor vehicle.
Detailing Basic DWI Penalties in New Jersey
For your first offense of driving with a BAC between .08 and .10 percent, you may face a fine of $250 to $400, a three-month suspension of your driver’s license and up to 30 days in jail as determined by the court.
When the first offense involves a BAC exceeding .10 percent, the fine may range between $300 and $500. You may also be incarcerated for up to 30 days as determined by the court, and your driver’s license may be suspended from seven months to one year.
DWI Penalties for Subsequent Offenses
If the second offense occurs within 10 years of a prior violation, the fine will range between $500 and $1,000. The incarceration time will range from 48 hours to as long as 90 days, and community service for 30 days is another punishment added for this type of violation. The license suspension for the second DWI offense lasts for two years.
For the third or subsequent offense occurring within 10 years of a prior offense, the fine is $1,000. The length of incarceration for DWI offenses at this level is 90 to 180 days, depending on how much time you spend at an inpatient facility. For this DWI offense, the state will suspend your license for 10 years. Participation in a supervised visitation program may also be required.
Other State Mandates Associated With DWI Offenses
Starting with your first offense, the state may require you to attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for 12 to 48 hours to meet screening, evaluation and referral requirements that allow you tos avoid serving jail time or having your driver’s license suspended. After your first DWI offense, the state also has the authority to have you install an interlock device in your car for six months to one year.
For subsequent offenses, the interlock device may be installed for at least one year but not more than three years. Otherwise, the state may opt to revoke your registration certification and license plate for two to 10 years, depending on if the offense is your second or third one. First-time offenders do not have to worry about having their registration revoked.
Committing a DWI in a New Jersey School Zone
This violation occurs on property designated for an elementary school, a secondary school or a school board or within 1,000 feet of a school property. Driving through a school crossing while intoxicated may also qualify as a violation under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g). Even if the crossing hasn’t been designated by the municipality, you may still be charged with DWI in a school zone if you knew juveniles were present.
For your first DWI offense in a school zone, you can face a fine ranging from $500 to $800, incarceration for up to 60 days and a license suspension ranging from one to two years. No community service is required for the first offense. With your second offense, the fine will range between $1,000 to $2,000, the jail time may range from 96 hours to 180 days and your license may be suspended for four years following incarceration.
If you’ve been charged with a DWI in New Jersey, contact attorney Denis Driscoll today to learn more about how you should proceed.