Holiday DWI’s in New Jersey

DWI’s are serious offenses and strictly enforced in New Jersey. The holiday season brings a spike in DWI enforcement in New Jersey. A little-known fact is that the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest night for DWI enforcement in New Jersey. There are more DWI patrols on the night before Thanksgiving than on New Year’s Eve and on St. Patrick’s Day.

dwi enforcement

Most drivers assume that New Year’s and Christmas are the most dangerous weekends to drive in New Jersey. However, Thanksgiving weekend is now the deadliest weekend to drive in New Jersey. This is due in large part to the fact an increased number of drivers return home to visit family and friends during Thanksgiving. Distracted drivers with cell phones combined with holiday drinking are a recipe for disaster and police in New Jersey are on high alert. NJ police are cracking down on drunk driving in New Jersey and the night before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest nights for DWI tickets.

Thanksgiving unofficially kicks off the holiday season around the country. Many schools are off and college students return home to see their families and friends. Most people take off work or leave early the day before Thanksgiving to begin preparation for the festivities. Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday and most offices are closed on Friday. The long weekend ha long been the busiest shopping weekend of the year, and now Black Friday sales begin before Friday! People shop till they drop, and unfortunately drink till they drop. Bars and restaurants make more money this weekend than any other holiday weekend of the year. And people who drink and drive in New Jersey will be issued DWI tickets.

It’s Not WHAT You Drink, But HOW Much You drink…

A drink may not be what you think. One “drink” depends on what you choose to drink. A standard drink can be 12-ounces of beer (approximately 5% alcohol); 5-ounces of wine (approximately 12% alcohol); or 1.5-ounces of hard liquor (40% alcohol). You must pay attention to what you drink, as many wine and beer manufacturers have increased the alcohol content in their beverages. You also need to closely watch how much hard liquor is poured for you, especially in mixed drinks. Most people underestimate how much they drink because they don’t realize how much alcohol in their drink. Around the holidays, many beverages are festive and mixed, so they do not taste as strong, but can be very potent.

DWI Penalties in New Jersey

A conviction first NJ DWI offense with either no BAC reading, or a BAC reading above 0.08% but less than 0.10%, your New Jersey driver’s license will be suspended for three months; you will be fined between $250 to $400; you must complete 12 to 48 hours Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)

A conviction a first NJ DWI offense with a BAC reading of .10% or higher, your New Jersey driver’s license will be suspended between 7 – 12 months; a fine of $300 – $500; 12 to 48 hours Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)

And wait, there’s more… The judge may order the installation of an interlock device on your car for 6 – 12 months after the expiration of the period of suspension. If you don’t install the court ordered interlock device on your car, you may face an additional one-year driver’s license suspension. NJ DWI Interlock FAQs can be found here:

Contact My Office Immediately

I am a New Jersey criminal trial attorney board certified by the NJ Supreme Court. New Jersey’s DWI laws are extremely complex. Anyone who is charged with a DWI needs to have an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you are a family member were arrested for DWI in New Jersey, contact me immediately so I can review your case and the evidence against you and advise you as to all possible defenses to make sure that you are properly represented. In many cases and circumstances a successful defense can lead to a downgrade or even the dismissal of the charges against you. Please contact me now by email, by phoning 908.264.7701, or by completing the form to the right to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.

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