The new drunk driving laws for New Jersey go into effect on Sunday, December 1, 2019. This is something to keep in mind when you’re toasting your next glass during the 2019 holiday season in New Jersey.
In New Jersey, DWIs are based in part on your Blood Alcohol Reading (BAC). If police suspect that you are driving under the influence of liquor, they will require you to give breath samples to determine your BAC level. If you BAC is over a certain limit, you will be arrested for drunk driving. The penalties for DWI in New Jersey require interlock devices for everyone convicted of DWI. But you may be able to save your driver’s license.
The new DWI law in New Jersey require an ignition interlock device to be installed for every driver convicted of drunk driving – even if it is their first offense. And each person convicted of DWI must pay to install the interlock device in their car. The interlock device requires a driver to blow into the device before they can even start their car. Once the car starts, the device requires the driver to periodically provide breathe samples in order to keep driving. The BAC reading determines how long you will need the interlock device – and more importantly – whether your driver’s license will be suspended.
What are the New DWI penalties in NJ after December 1, 2019?
The penalties for a first time DWI offense are now drastically different. Here are the most important changes:
First DWI Offenses
- If your BAC is between .08% and .10% – you will be required to have an interlock device for three months. Your driver’s license will only be suspended until the interlock device is installed. You will be fined $250 – $500 and can face up to 30 days in jail.
- If your BAC is between .10% and .15% – you will be required to install an interlock device for 7 – 12 months. Your driver’s license will only be suspended until the interlock device is installed. You will be fined $300 – $500 and can face up to 30 days in jail.
- If you BAC is higher than .15% – you will be required to install an interlock device for 9 – 15 months, and your driver’s license will be suspended. The license suspension starts on the date you are convicted and runs from 4 – 6 months after the interlock device is installed.
Second DWI Offenses
- For a second DWI offense with any BAC reading .08% or higher, you face a license suspension from 1 – 2 years, a fine of $500 – $1,000, 30 days of community service, and 2 – 90 days in jail! An interlock device is also required.
Third DWI Offenses
- For a second DWI offense with any BAC reading .08% or higher, you face a license suspension for EIGHT years, a fine of $1,000, and 180 days in jail! An interlock device is also required.
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.
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.