Although they are often times used interchangeably, the terms DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated), do carry different standards and penalties in many states. However, in Trenton and in communities throughout New Jersey, the state’s zero tolerance policy means that there is no distinction between the two crimes. Trenton DWI lawyers know that the penalties for any, driving while impaired offense, can be severe.
And depending on the circumstances, enhancements to some types of offenses can be life changing. A lawyer can work with the courts in some instances, but ultimately each case is viewed on its own merit. In New Jersey, the severity of the punishment depends on several factors, but the most notable is the blood alcohol concentration. It is separated based on:
- A BAC above .08% but less than .10%
- A BAC higher than .10%
An accused offender’s history of DWI offenses also plays a major role in the type of penalties that could be doled out. First time offenders face several court-imposed consequences. If a BAC is between .08% and .10%, penalties include: a loss of driving privileges for three months; jail time of at least 12 hours and up to 30 days; up to $400 in fines and a $1,000 auto insurance surcharge for three years; alcohol and substance abuse assessment, 12 hours of mandatory alcohol classes; and, other fees of at least $525.
DWI convictions with a BAC of more than .10% carry even more severe fines and losses of privileges. Repeat offenders who are convicted of a second DWI offense within 10 years face even more harsh penalties that will add on 30 days of community service, a $3,000 auto insurance surcharge for three years, jail time of up to 90 days and a minimum two-year license suspension.
Third offense convictions are even more harsh. They include 180 days of jail time, a suspended license for 10 years, a $4,500 auto insurance surcharge and up to 90 days of community service. Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq is a full service New Jersey law firm with offices in Elizabeth, Freehold, Hackensack, Newark, New Bruswick, Perth Amboy, Plainfield and Trenton.