The terms DWI and DUI in NJ both refer to the offense of driving under the influence of drugs or driving while intoxicated by alcohol. In essence, both charges describe the same motor vehicle offense, under New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, with the only difference being the type of impairment. DWI or DUI in NJ is a motor vehicle violation, not a criminal offense like it is in some states.
However, the penalties for a DWI in New Jersey are quasi-criminal in nature.
Since New Jersey has a zero tolerance policy towards driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance the courts make no distinction between a DWI or DUI conviction. The terms are used interchangeably by law enforcement, referring to the act of driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher or after consuming narcotics or habit-producing drugs.
Sentencing Guidelines for DWI and DUI in NJ
The sentencing guidelines are the same under the statute, whether you are convicted of a DWI or DUI in NJ. A first time offense can be punishable by a license suspension of 3 to 12 months, multiple fines, mandatory participation in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, the installation of an interlock ignition device, and even time in jail. A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs is treated exactly the same as driving with a BAC level of 0.10-0.14%.
You Don't Need to be the One Driving to get a DWI or DUI in NJ!
What some people don't realize is that there's the possibility of being charged with DWI or DUI in NJ even if you're not present in the vehicle pulled over. If someone permits another person who has a BAC of 0.08% or more or is under the influence of drugs to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody or control, he or she can be subject to a DWI conviction under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.
Charged with DWI or DUI in NJ? Call Today!
If you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI in NJ, please call (732) 709-7757 to speak with a seasoned drunk driving lawyer of Villani & DeLuca. Our team of attorneys has over 20 years of experience in both the prosecution and defense of DWI cases throughout the state. They can inform you of your rights and defense options during your free consultation.