If you are arrested for a DUI or DWI, you would be wise to have an NJ DWI lawyer by your side in court. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) are motor vehicle violations in the State of New Jersey (defined in N.J.S.A. 39: 4-50). Also known as “drunk driving”, DWI charges are considered the most serious motor vehicle violations in NJ, and should to be handled by a qualified DWI lawyer.
If you or a loved one been charged with a DWI, DUI or a Breath Test Refusal and are you seeking to keep the DWI charge off your record and save your driver’s license, you will need an experienced New Jersey DWI attorney to represent you and to fight on your behalf.
Carmine R. Villani, Esq., founding partner of Villani & DeLuca, P.C., is a former Municipal Prosecutor and has experience in both the prosecution and defense of DWI, DUI and refusal charges in New Jersey. Mr. Villani is one of a small number of NJ DWI lawyers trained on both the Alcotest® breath testing device, currently used in New Jersey, as well as the Breathalyzer previously used. When you need a DWI lawyer in Monmouth or Ocean County, New Jersey, you can’t afford to waste time before seeking representation to defend yourself and your rights in court; your choice of legal counsel is important and can mean the difference between a DWI conviction and a dismissal.
Know the New Jersey DWI and DUI Laws
DWI Law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 Driving While Intoxicated
Every state deals with such cases differently, but regardless, driving while intoxicated is against the law in New Jersey (as it is everywhere across the nation). A person who operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above is considered to be driving under the influence. New Jersey is a zero-tolerance state.
New Jersey’s implied consent law requires you to take a breath test after an arrest for DWI. If you are detained and refuse you’ll be subject to the refusal penalties which in some instances can have a more harsh sentence than a first offense DWI. Blood alcohol concentration is measured through a breathalyzer or Alcotest®. BAC evidence is not necessarily required to prove a DWI in court, but without it, prosecutors must rely on police officer observations and a more subjective series of tests called Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST). Therefore, you can be convicted of a DWI even without a blood alcohol reading if the officer testifies that in their opinion that you were drunk.
DUI Law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 Driving Under the Influence of prescription or illicit drugs
If you are pulled over for suspicion of a DUI violation, New Jersey law enforcement will treat you the similarly if you appear impaired because you had taken a prescribed medication. This means that you could be charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) of drugs and could face the same charges as a person who was driving under the influence of an illegal drug. All too often people get themselves into trouble because they either admit to taking a prescribed medication or the officer sees prescription bottles in the car or in a drivers purse. The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are the same penalties a person would receive with an above a .15 BAC which the the highest penalty in an alcohol case.
Underage DUI Law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14 Underage Driver Under the Influence
Requirements and penalties for drivers that are under the legal drinking age are even more strict. If a chemical test determines that a driver under 21 has a BAC of .01-.07%, the driver can be charged with underage driving with alcohol in their system and lose his or her license for 30 to 90 days, among other penalties. This is not a finding that the driver was intoxicated but it is a zero tolorence law meaning penalizing an underage driver for having any alcohol in their system. Something that is super important, however, is that an underage drinking and driving under this section is NOT CONSIDERED A DWI. Should the driver have blood alcohol content measuring .08% or more or is otherwise deemed intoxicated, he or she will face the same charges and penalties as a driver over the age of 21 under the DWI statute.
DWI and DUI Penalties in New Jersey
Being convicted of a DUI is a serious offense, carrying heavy penalties. Penalties for driving while intoxicated vary according to BAC level and how many times you’ve been caught; New Jersey law allows the courts and the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to suspend your license (from 3 months to 10 years), charge thousands of dollars in fines, fees and surcharges, requirement of an ignition interlock device, jail time and community service. Work permits or hardship licenses are not available in New Jersey.
Allowing a Drunk Driver to Drive Your Car Can Result in Your Being Charged with DWI
Did you know that you could be arrested for a DWI even if you are not driving? If you let another person drive your car and you know that that person is drunk, then New Jersey law says that you, too, can be convicted of a DWI. The State has made this law to punish people who put drunk drivers on the road just the same as the drunk drivers themselves.
DUI drug offenses in the State of New Jersey are governed by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. Anyone who is found to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs is subject to penalties just as severe as a DWI.
Contact an Experienced NJ DWI Law Firm for Help
Every day, hundreds of Americans die as a result of drunk driving. Driving under the influence is a dangerous situation for everyone that is involved. Because of the serious nature of this offense, penalties for DWI and related offenses in New Jersey can be severe. If you or a loved one has been charged with driving while intoxicated, contact the lawyers of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. to protect your rights as soon as possible. The attorneys at Villani & DeLuca can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 732-965-3350. Call today for a free consultation on how to protect your rights.