It is the night before Thanksgiving and you have been away at college. For the first time in months, you are coming home and reuniting with your hometown friends. You decide that to celebrate your reunion, you will grab drinks at your favorite local bar. You drink more than you expected to and decide to drive home anyway. On the way home, you are pulled over and charged with a DWI for the first time.
This is a likely scenario considering the night before Thanksgiving is the most dangerous night of the year when it comes to drunk driving. In fact, Thanksgiving Eve has been nicknamed “Drinksgiving” and “Blackout Wednesday.” So, what do you do if you have received a DWI? Read on to find out about DWI charges in New Jersey.
First Offense Penalties:
It is important to note that your DWI charge will depend upon two things. First, your BAC. This is your blood alcohol content. Your BAC depends upon a few variables, such as the type of alcohol you drank, the amount of alcohol, and how quickly you consumed it. The higher your BAC, the more severe your penalties will be. In New Jersey, if this is your first offense, there are two tiers when it comes to your BAC. Additionally, your previous offenses play a large role. If this is your second or third time receiving a DWI charge, your penalties will be harsher.
BAC of .08-.09%
If you are over 21 years old and you are pulled over for a DWI for the first time, you may face the following penalties:
- Loss of driving privileges for three months
- Up to 30 days in county jail
- Up to $400 in fines
- A $1,000 automobile insurance surcharge for three years
- Possible Ignition Interlock requirement for 6-12 months, paid for with your own money
- Alcohol/substance abuse assessment
- 12 hours of mandatory alcohol classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).
BAC of .10%% or above
If you are pulled over for the first time and charged with a DWI you will face all of the above court-ordered charges, plus:
- Forfeiture of driver’s license for 7-12 months
- $300-$500 in fines
- Mandatory Ignition Interlock 6 – 12 months if your BAC is above .15%, paid for with your own money
A DWI in New Jersey is a serious charge. If you or a loved one is facing a DWI charge, reach out to a skilled criminal defense attorney to help you with your case and explore all of your legal options.
Contact our Firm
Our firm understands how serious criminal and personal injury cases are. We are prepared to guide you towards a favorable outcome because we believe false accusations or preventable injuries should never cause a person harm. This is why those who require experienced legal counsel in New Jersey should do themselves a favor and contact The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze today for any criminal and personal injury matters.