DUI Laws in New Jersey
The United States has a blood alcohol content limit of 0.08 percent. This means that anyone with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit will be arrested. New Jersey has two different kinds of drunk driving charges: driving under the influence charges and driving while intoxicated charges. Either of these charges can be prosecuted in one of two ways.
New Jersey law allows the prosecution of individuals who have driven under the influence causing impairment. In these cases, the prosecuting attorney will attempt to show that due to the consumption of alcohol an individual was impaired while driving. The prosecuting attorney will provide evidence before the court for support. Evidence can include documentation of the individual’s physical appearance, field sobriety tests, blood alcohol content levels, driving patterns, breath tests, and urine tests. However, despite having a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, an individual may not be convicted of a crime as sometimes an individual is not impaired, despite having a blood alcohol content above the 0.08 percent level.
Individuals may also be prosecuted for simply having a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit. This kind of prosecution is called per se law. The prosecuting attorney will provide an individual’s blood alcohol content level before the court. If the record shows the blood alcohol content level exceeds the legal limit then the individual will be convicted. Per se charges and impairment charges may vary depending on the circumstances of the cases.
The state of New Jersey maintains a minimum blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent as a basis by which it prosecutes drivers. However, New Jersey DUI laws also specify lower percentages for both commercial vehicle drivers as well as individuals under the age of 21, which is a common practice among states. All commercial vehicle drivers, much like is existent in other states, which is that of an illegal limit of .04 or more. In terms of drivers under the age of 21, they must maintain an even lower level, even in comparison to other regions, that of below .01 percent.
When an individual acquires a driver’s license, he or she gives common consent to submit to blood alcohol testing or chemical testing when requested by a police officer. Under this consent, an individual may not legally decline a testing request. If an individual does refuse to take a blood alcohol test, he or she will have his or her driver’s license automatically suspended. In these cases individuals are often convicted as the court will assume an individual is guilty because he or she refused to take the test.
In New Jersey, those under the age of twenty-one will be arrested upon having blood alcohol content levels above 0.01 percent. Community service and driver’s license suspension will subsequently follow.
New Jersey DUI law sets forth a couple of levels by which penalties will be incurred, following which may be even more serious consequences. The more habitual such offenses will start to arise as a problem where it will be necessary for you to acquire a New Jersey DUI attorney. For the first New Jersey DUI offense, an individual may expect jail time of up to 30 days. fines may range from $250 to $400, which will then increase to that $300 to $500 if blood alcohol levels reach .10 percent or more. License suspension will last 3 months, upon which increases will also occur in relation to blood alcohol levels .10 and above.
DUI convictions in New Jersey are based on prior offenses. The basic rule states that the more offenses against an individual, the more severe the current convictions will be. Driving under the influence of convictions can be increased heavily in certain circumstances. Advancing circumstances include having a minor in the vehicle upon arrest, driving above the speed limit, having a blood alcohol level double the legal limit, and causing injury or death to another. Convictions significantly increase when an individual’s blood alcohol content is double the limit, despite only being a first offense.
All DUI cases can have priors of up to ten years. This means that after ten years, a prior DUI offense may not be used to aggravate a current offense. Consequences for drunk driving usually include imprisonment, fines, probation, vehicle impoundment, attendance to alcohol treatment courses, and driver’s license suspension.
Drug Possession DUI
In addition, New Jersey DUI laws also preside over the possession of drugs while driving. Such violations will be subject to similar penalties as those in possession of or under the influence of alcohol. New Jersey also applies an Implied Consent Law that is similar to that of other states. This law specifies that drivers who travel on any New Jersey roadways automatically adhere to submission to a chemical test in order to determine their blood alcohol levels. In the event that drivers refuse such a test, however, they will incur a license suspension of a year as well as a fine ranging from $250 to $500. Subsequent refusals such as that of a second and third will incur additional suspensions of 2 and 10 years respectively. In such cases, it would be wise to attain the legal assistance of a New Jersey DUI attorney.
In such a case, the license suspension will rise to the range of 7 months to a year, with the possibility of the required installment of an ignition interlock device within the motor vehicle. Additional fees will also be incurred such as a $525 minimum as well as an automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 for 3 years. You will also be expected to attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for 2 days, 6 hours per day. For the second
2nd New Jersey DUI offense
In terms of the second New Jersey DUI offense, jail time may extend up to 90 days. Fines will range from $500 to $1,000, with a license suspension of 2 years. The additional fees as well as the automobile insurance surcharge will mirror that of a first-time offense. One difference, however, is the presence of a required completion of 30 days of community service. For the third New Jersey DUI offense, jail time will double that of the second New Jersey DUI offense as it will stand at 180 days.
NJ DUI Fines
There is also no range of fines as it will be set at $1,000, with license suspension lasting 10 years. Although the additional fees are the same as the previous offenses, the automobile insurance surcharge will increase to that $1,500 for 3 years. In such a case, again, the need for a New Jersey DUI attorney cannot be stressed enough. In addition, automobile insurance companies specify other fees for DUI convictions. They include $100 each for the “drunk driving enforcement fund, motor vehicle restoration, violent crimes compensation, intoxicated driver program, and states/municipalities.”