What is the legal blood alcohol limit in New Jersey?
As of January 21, 2004 the “legal” blood alcohol limit in New Jersey (and most other states) is .08%.  Therefore, if your blood alcohol content is .08% or greater while operating a motor vehicle you can be charged with “Driving While Intoxicated” (“DWI”) (New Jersey Statute 39:4-50).
Will I lose my license if I am convicted of “DWI”?

If you are convicted, you will lose your license.  It’s just a matter of how long the suspension will be.  The following are maximum penalties for a first offense DWI conviction:

  • Up to 30 days jail
  • Up to one (1) year license suspension
  • Up to a $400 fine
  • Up to 48 hrs. in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • $200 Surcharge
  • $75 Safe Neighborhood Streets Assessment
  • $50 Violent Crimes Compensation Board Fee
  • $30 Court Cost
If I lose my license, can I get a license to go to work?
No. Unfortunately, New Jersey does not have what are sometimes known as “work licenses”.  If you lose your license you cannot drive for any reason.  That’s why it’s important to fight the DWI charge aggressively.
What happens if my license is suspended for a DWI conviction and I get caught driving?
In addition to a minimum $1000.00 fine, you could lose your license for an additional two (2) years and will be sentenced to jail for at least 10 and up to 90 days!
Do I have to take the Breath Test?
In a word “Yes”.  In New Jersey we have what is known as the “Implied Consent Law”.  That means that if you operate a motor vehicle in the State of New Jersey you automatically consent to giving a breath test if specifically requested to do so by a Police Officer.
What happens if I refuse to take a breath test?
If you refuse to take the breath test after being asked to do so by a Police Officer, you will receive a ticket for “Refusal to Submit to Breath Test” (“Refusal”) (N.J.S. 39:4-50.4a) in addition to a ticket for “DWI”.
What are the penalties for a “Refusal” ticket?
If convicted for refusing to give breath samples, a first offense carries a six (6) month license suspension (in addition to any suspension imposed if convicted for DWI) and up to a $500 fine.
How can I “beat” a DWI or Refusal charge?

Actually, there are many ways to “attack” a DWI or Refusal charge.  The first is to challenge the “stop” of your motor vehicle.  To do this your attorney must thoroughly examine the details of the circumstances surrounding the “stop” of your car to determine whether the police officer followed all “constitutional guidelines” as set forth in the United States (federal) and New Jersey (state) Constitutions and all “case law” or prior cases similar to your particular case.

Next, your attorney should examine what “observations” the police officer made of you at the scene of the traffic stop.  Did he smell the odor of alcohol?  Did he note that your eyes were bloodshot and watery?  Did you perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Test okay?

Then, if you submitted to a breath test, your attorney must thoroughly examine the police paperwork or “Discovery” to see if the Breathalyzer was working properly, if the police officer operating the machine was certified to do so, and if he/she operated the machine appropriately when you blew into it.

These are only some of the many ways to challenge a DWI charge.

Should I retain an attorney for my DWI charge?
Absolutely!  Due to the severe penalties you are facing and the numerous and complicated laws relating to motor vehicles and DWI charges you should always retain an attorney.  If you don’t, it will be very difficult and almost impossible to beat a DWI charge.  The attorney should be a specialist in the area of motor vehicle law and DWI law.  Again, this is because laws relating to a DWI charge are many and are complicated.  An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can present both legal and factual arguments to the court to help you win your case!