NJ DUI Attorney

Possible New NJ DUI Laws

New Jersey may have new driving under the influence (DUI) laws coming into effect soon. State Senators Nicholas Scutari and Jim Whelan and Assemblywoman Linda Stender introduced new NJ DUI legislation, S 385/A 1368, to have convicted drunk drivers prove their sobriety via an ignition interlock device before operating a car.

Currently, NJ law requires the installation of interlock devices for all repeat and first-time DUI convictions with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 percent or greater. The new law would require a person convicted of their first DUI charge with a BAC of .08 percent to .14 percent to use an ignition interlock device for 3 to 12 months. However, it’s up to a judge’s discretion. A judge may deem a license suspension is more appropriate.

Additionally, the time of the ignition interlock device may be extended if the offender attempts to drive while drunk during the last one-third of the three to 12 month period.

At the current time, it is unlawful to operate a vehicle in New Jersey with a BAC of .08% or higher.

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device connects to a vehicle’s dashboard. Before starting the car, the driver must blow into the device, which detects the driver’s BAC. If the driver’s BAC is above the legal limit, the car will not start. Additionally, the interlock device may force the driver to blow into the device while he or she is driving to prove continuous sobriety while operating the vehicle.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, interlocks reduce repeat offenses by 67 percent.

First-time versus repeat offenders: New Jersey’s penalties

The penalties for repeat DUI offenders under current New Jersey state laws are significantly harsher. Additionally, the penalties are more severe if you are caught with a BAC of .10% or more:

First Offense

  • Three months license suspension
  • $250–$400 fine
  • $230 Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC) fee
  • $100 to drunk driving fund
  • $100 to Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund (AERF)
  • $1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge
  • $75 to Neighborhood Services Fund
  • Up to 30 days imprisonment
  • 12-48 hours of time at IDRC

First offense with a BAC of 0.10% or greater

  • Seven months –one year license suspension
  • $300–$500 fine
  • $230 IDRC fee
  • $100 to drunk driving fund
  • $100 to AERF
  • $1,000/year (for three years) surcharge
  • $75 to Neighborhood Services Fund
  • Up to 30 days imprisonment
  • 12-48 hours of time at Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC)
  • **For BAC of 0.15% or greater– ignition interlock device during license suspension and six months to one year after restoration

Second offense within 10 years

  • Two years license suspension
  • $500–$1,000 fine
  • $280 IDRC* fee
  • $100 to drunk driving fund
  • $100 to AERF*
  • $1,000/year (for three years) surcharge
  • $75 to Neighborhood Services Fund
  • 48 hours–90 days imprisonment
  • 30 days community service
  • 12-48 hours IDRC
  • Ignition interlock device during license suspension and 1-3 years following restoration

Third offense within 10 years

  • 10 years license suspension
  • $1,000 fine
  • $280 IDRC* fee
  • $100 to drunk driving fund
  • $100 to AERF*
  • $1,500/year (for three years) surcharge
  • $75 to Neighborhood Services Fund
  • 180 days imprisonment
  • Up to 90 days of community service
  • 12–48 hours IDRC
  • Ignition interlock device during license suspension and 1-3 years following restoration

A DUI lawyer can help defend you against DUI charges. Make sure to enlist the aid of an experienced DUI / DWI lawyer. Some of the best DUI lawyers are former municipal prosecutors. It is critical that you speak with a knowledgably and experienced DUI attorney as they may be able to get your charge reduced.

About Christopher G. Aiello, Esq.

Christopher Aiello is a former municipal prosecutor, is an experienced New Jersey DUI lawyer.  Mr. Aiello has been practicing law since 1983.

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