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Understanding drunk driving in New Jersey

Understanding drunk driving in New Jersey

Drivers who have been arrested for drunk driving should get the facts about the laws and penalties in New Jersey.

People who live and drive in Bergen County likely know that New Jersey's drunk driving laws are very strict. A conviction for driving while intoxicated can have serious ramifications that impact virtually every part of a person's life. While many states impose felony charges for some impaired driving offenses, New Jersey does not. This, however, does not negate the serious nature of the penalties in New Jersey.

The basics about blood alcohol level

A blood alcohol content ("BAC") of 0.08 percent or greater can lead to the determination of intoxication in New Jersey. The testing for intoxication generally begins with observations and field sobriety tests by a police officer when the driver is stopped and concludes with Alcotest testing at the police department.

New Jersey drivers can have their driving privileges revoked for as long as 12 months if they refuse testing. Additionally, they may be required to pay as much as $300 in fines simply for refusing to participate in DUI testing.

What happens if a driver is convicted?

A driver convicted of DUI charges in New Jersey will face several types of penalties. Part of what determines the ultimate set of penalties is whether or not there are any prior offenses on record. The driver's blood alcohol level is also a primary factor in the ultimate consequences.

For drivers with BAC levels ranging from 0.08 but less than 0.10 percent, a three-month license suspension and a jail sentence up to 30 days can result. Fines will be as much as $400. The drivers will also be required to stay at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, or IDRC, for 12 to 48 hours.

For drivers with BAC levels ranging from 0.10 but less than 0.15percent, a 12-month license suspension and jail sentence up to 30 days can result. Fines will be as much as $400. The drivers will also be required to stay at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, or IDRC, for 12 to 48 hours.

Drivers with BAC levels of 0.15 or greater will face similar consequences as do those with levels between 0.10 and less than 0.15 percent. However, these drivers will also be required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles.

Convicted drivers must also pay additional fines and penalties including a $230.00 IDRC fee, a $100.00 drunk driving assessment and a $100.00 fine to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund In addition, all drivers convicted of drunk driving in New Jersey must also pay a $1,000 annual surcharge for three years.

What help is available?

People who have been arrested for drunk driving may feel they have nowhere to turn. That is not true. Contacting an experienced DWI attorney is almost always helpful in these situations. If you have been arrested for DWI or for any reason in New Jersey and you need professional advice, call one of the attorneys at Brickfield & Donahue at (201) 488-7707 to set up a free case evaluation and consultation. Both Joseph Donahue and Paul Brickfield are Certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as Criminal Trial Attorneys and both have extensive experience in State, Municipal, and Federal Courts throughout New Jersey.

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