NJ DWI VS. DUI IN NEW JERSEY
DWI vs. DUI in New Jersey: A Detailed Overview of the Differences and Penalties
Driving while impaired is a serious offense in any state, and New Jersey is no exception. This article provides an in-depth look at the differences between driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) in New Jersey, including the penalties associated with each.
The Difference Between DWI and DUI in New Jersey
While DWI and DUI are often used interchangeably, there are important differences between the two terms in New Jersey. DWI refers to driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, while DUI covers any substance that can impair a person’s ability to drive safely, including illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medications.
Penalties for DWI in New Jersey
Driving while intoxicated is considered a traffic offense rather than a criminal offense in New Jersey. If convicted of DWI, you won’t have a criminal record. However, if your intoxicated driving causes an accident resulting in injury or death, you may face criminal charges.
If convicted of DWI in New Jersey, first-time offenders can expect to pay fines ranging from $250-$500 on top of additional fees related to attending alcohol education classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). In addition to fines, repeat offenders face steeper penalties like longer jail time which could last up to 180 days depending on the number of offenses committed.
Penalties for DUI in New Jersey
When charged for DUI, there are consequences beyond court-imposed penalties. These may include higher car insurance premiums or even job loss especially if your profession requires that you drive for work purposes. A criminal record due to your conviction makes it difficult to obtain employment housing or college financial aid.
Driving under the influence in New Jersey is a serious offense that can result in both administrative and criminal penalties. Any person found guilty will have to pay fines and even face imprisonment for an extended period, plus extensive alcohol or drug counseling classes as part of their sentence. While this depends on age, BAC, and number of previous convictions, it’s worth noting that DUI can carry the additional penalty of criminal charges related to drug possession or distribution.
DWI vs. DUI: Which is More Common in New Jersey?
While both DWI and DUI are quite rampant in New Jersey, DWI for alcohol use happens slightly more often than DUI for drugs because it’s easier to prove DWI cases through breathalyzer tests compared with DUI cases which require forensic testing.
Underage DWI and DUI
New Jersey has a zero-tolerance policy regarding underage drinking and driving where specific penalties apply to those below 21 caught driving under substance influence. These penalties are severe right from license suspension, mandatory community service hours down to compulsory attendance at an IDRC program.
DWI/DUI Penalties by Offense Level
Below is a table showing the details of the penalties imposed based on the number of offenses committed:
PENALTY | FIRST OFFENSE | SECOND OFFENSE | THIRD OFFENSE
Fines | $250-$500 | $500-$1000
License |&dots; 3 Months &dots; |‐‐2 Years ‐‐| 10 Years/Revoked
IDRC Classes |12-48 Hours | 48 Hours | 90 Hours
Jail | Up to 30 Days | Up to 90 Days | 180 Days
It is crucial to understand that both DWI and DUI are serious offenses in New Jersey, attracting severe penalties with long-lasting effects besides those imposed by the court. Whether you’re a first-time offender or have faced previous charges, it’s imperative to work with an experienced attorney like Todd Spodek to guide you through the legal process, from building strong defense cases while retaining your rights. Avoiding intoxicated driving is the solution.
NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS