New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel

How Is A DWI Defined Under New Jersey Law?


How Is A DWI Defined In New Jersey? What Criminal Category Would It Fall Under?

In New Jersey, DWI is not classified as a crime, it is classified as a motor vehicle violation, but it can have rather significant consequences. On the first offense, the court-imposed fines and penalties can range up to $889 revocation of the driving privileges of up to a year. The person can be required to have an alcohol ignition interlock device installed on their car during the period of revocation and up to one year after that. They have to attend something called the IDRC, which stands for Intoxicated Driver Resource Centre that is why they are two six hour sessions and one forty-eight hour session.

Looking at it administratively, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and the Department of Health will assess and collect a series of surcharges or taxes and other fees. Those taxes and fees total at a minimum of $4,005 and can be as much as $4,155. It depends on how many prior offenses you have and the timing of your priors. If you do not pay fines, you get arrested; if you do not pay surcharges in fees, they revoke your driving privileges and can issue a civil judgment against you.

Going on to second offenses, the fines can be as much as $1,389. There is a two year revocation of driving privileges, and that also includes an alcohol ignition interlock requirement for the period of revocation and up to three years after the person is eligible to get their license back. After two years, they can get a limited license where it is restricted only to those vehicles equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock. There is a mandatory jail term of no less than two years and no more than ninety days although a two day jail term is almost routinely commuted to forty-eight hours at the IDRC.

Finally, there is a requirement that the person convicted should do thirty days of community service, one day is equal to six hours, which they are expected to do at the rate of one day per week if you are working and two days per week if you are not. That is the minimum.

For a third offense, it is a six month jail term and that is a hard six months. The joke is it is a minimum of one hundred and eighty days and a maximum of six months because they expect you to serve every single day of it. There is revocation of driving privileges of ten years. Again, there is an additional period of alcohol ignition interlock that goes three years beyond that. The fines are the same as they are for a second offense. You are subjected to $1,389 in fines. You also get the surcharges regardless of whether it is a first, second or third offense. New Jersey is different. They do not treat it as a crime, but they can still put you in jail for six months and take your license for away for ten years among other things.

The statement that the DUI is just a traffic offense is quite misleading as it carries incredibly severe penalties. In a recent case called State v. Denelsbeck, the office of John Menzel argued in the Supreme Court of New Jersey that the consequences were sufficiently serious that he was entitled, under the Federal Constitution, to a jury trial. They are now considering whether to take that case to the United States Supreme Court.

Read on to know How a DUI Is Defined under New Jersey Law or call the law office of New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel, J.D. for an Initial Consultation at (888) 394-1394 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

John Menzel, J.D.

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