Driving while under the influence of alcohol is an extremely serious crime. Unfortunately for many, it’s also extremely common. In 2007, there were over 25,000 DUI (driving under the influence) arrests in New Jersey alone – and over 250 deaths related to drunk driving. The best advice anyone can offer is simply not to drink and drive, ever.
But that’s not always the way things play out. Maybe you’re just curious, or maybe you or someone you know has just been arrested for DUI. In any case, you’re probably here because you have some questions about DUI law that you want answers to. Here are some of the most common questions people have, answered.
If you or someone you know has been arrested in New Jersey for driving under the influence, get them out now by calling Chance BailBonds at (732) 984-4101
What does it take to get a DUI?
According to the law, it’s illegal to “operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor … or … with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more by weight of [blood] alcohol.” That means that operating a vehicle and under the influence of alcohol is a distinct crime from doing so with a BAC of .08% or more.
You can be detained for a DUI if a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that alcohol is affection your faculties. You also must submit to a breathalyzer test (you gave your “implied consent” when you got your license). Failure to do so could result in transfer to a hospital where blood will be drawn, and penalties as severe as those given with high BACs.
What are the penalties for driving under the influence?
For a first offense, penalties can be up to 30 days in jail, between $250 to $500 in fines, and a license suspension of 3 months to 1 year.
For a second offense, up to 90 days jail time, between $500 and $1000 dollars in fines, and 2 years suspended license.
For a third offense, someone is looking at up to 180 days in jail, $1,000 in fines, and a license suspension of 10 years.
Refusal to take a chemical test for DUI will result in a 7 month license suspension for the first offense, and a license revocation of 2 years and 10 years respectively for the second and third offenses, in addition to numerous fines and fees.
These are serious crimes!
Can DUI or DWI charges be fought in court?
Sometimes. DUI cases are typically open and shut cases A good defense lawyer can find loopholes in probable cause law, or violations of protocol by the arresting and detaining officers than can work in your favor. If the lawyer can prove that the breathalyzer was malfunctioning, cast doubt on the judgement of the arresting officer, or find a similar technicality in your favor, you may have a chance. There’s also a 60-day cap on most DUI cases, which on one hand makes prosecutors and judges extra aggressive, but on the other means that if you case is moving sluggishly a lawyer could appeal to your right to a speedy trial.
You shouldn’t count on it though. Prosecutors are very hesitant to offer plea bargains or alternatives in DUI cases. If you’re arrested for a DUI or DWI, odds are you’re doing to see the full punishment.
What about a plea bargain?
New Jersey law expressly forbids plea bargaining in DUI cases. The only way to reduce or beat the charge is to get off on a technicality.
Can I still drive to work if my license is suspended for a DUI?
Nope. Revocation or suspension of your license is absolute without exception for the entirety of the prescribed length of time.
Does a DUI result in a criminal record?
No. In New Jersey, a DUI is not a felony or misdemeanor, but a motor vehicle violation.
What’s the first step in fighting a DUI charge?
Even if you’ve got the best DUI defense lawyer in the state, the first, most important step in fighting the charge is to get out of jail. The best way to do that in New Jersey is to call Chance BailBonds at (732) 984-4101. We offer bail bonds services for DUI arrests in: