Driving while intoxicated due to alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal street drugs is not only extremely dangerous to yourself and other motorists, it is illegal in the state of New Jersey. Drunk driving carries serious penalties in New Jersey that can result in significant monetary fines, restrictions on your ability to drive, and even possible jail time. Unfortunately, according to statistics provided by the CDC, drunk driving is extremely common.
In 2010 alone, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. Clearly, many people do not take the risks of drunk driving seriously. However, part of the reason for this high number of arrests can also be explained by the aggressive enforcement priority placed on DUI by police forces across the nation. While in most cases these actions are a valuable public service and a deterrent to further drunk driving, in some instances innocent individuals are caught-up in the aggressive approach to enforcement.
If you have been charged with a drunk or intoxicated driving in Brigantine, NJ, get help from our DUI defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych by calling (609) 616-4956.
How is DUI Defined in Brigantine Under New Jersey Law?
New Jersey’s law against drunk and intoxicated driving is codified as N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 and N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a. N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 states that any individual who operates a motor vehicle while “under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the defendant’s blood” is guilty of driving while intoxicated and subject to punishment. It is essential to note that an individual can also be charged for DUI even when his or her BAC is less than 0.08 percent. Likewise, permitting another person to operate a motor vehicle while having a BAC greater than 0.08 percent can also face charges. N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a is part of the drunk driving law that mandates punishment for drivers who fail to consent to a blood, breath, or other chemical test for DUI.
It is important to note that while some other states may charge drunk drivers with “driving under the influence,” New Jersey will refer to this crime as “driving while intoxicated” (DWI).
Can You Go to Jail for Drunk Driving in Brigantine, NJ?
In New Jersey, drunk driving is a serious offense that can indeed lead to incarceration. The state has stringent laws and penalties in place to deter individuals from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
For a first DWI offense, individuals may face imprisonment for up to 30 days. This initial stint behind bars is just one facet of the comprehensive penalties that may also include fines, license suspension, and mandatory participation in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center program.
The stakes escalate significantly for a second DWI offense. Offenders may be subjected to a mandatory jail term ranging from 48 hours to 90 days. This heightened penalty underscores the state’s commitment to deterring repeat offenses and ensuring public safety. Additionally, substantial fines, an extended license suspension period, and the installation of an ignition interlock device may be imposed.
Third or Subsequent Offenses
For those facing a third or subsequent DWI offense, the prospect of imprisonment becomes even more pronounced. New Jersey law mandates a minimum jail sentence of 180 days for a third offense, with the possibility of an extended sentence. The cumulative impact of repeated violations is reflected in the severity of the penalties, emphasizing the gravity with which the legal system treats multiple DWI convictions.
Can Your License Be Suspended for Drunk Driving in Brigantine, NJ?
In New Jersey, a DWI charge can also result in the suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license. As with a prison sentence, the length of their license suspension will be determined by the circumstances of their specific case.
For their first DWI offense, an individual may face a mandatory license suspension ranging from seven months to one year. For a second DWI offense, the stakes are higher, and the potential license suspension period increases. The offender may face a suspension of their driving privileges for up to two years.
In the case of a third or subsequent DWI offense in New Jersey, the consequences become even more serious. The court may impose a staggering license suspension of up to ten years. This lengthy suspension period reflects how serious the state will treat cases involving habitual drunk drivers.
Other Potential Penalties Assessed Against Drunk Drivers in Brigantine, NJ
In addition to jail time, there are multiple other penalties that may be assessed against drunk drivers in New Jersey. Our criminal defense attorneys can help determine if you may be facing any of the following in your case:
Those who are accused of drunk driving may be faced with substantial financial penalties. The fines associated with a drunk driving conviction can vary based on factors such as the severity of the offense and whether it is a repeat violation. The court may impose fines ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, placing a significant economic burden on the accused.
Ignition Interlock Device Installation
Following a conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI), the court may also mandate the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device necessitates a breath test each time you start your car, determining your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and preventing the vehicle from starting if your BAC exceeds the legal limit. If the court orders the installation of this device, you will be responsible for covering both its installation and maintenance costs.
Mandatory Alcohol Education Programs
Another potential repercussion of a DWI conviction involves compulsory participation in alcohol education programs. Designed to raise awareness about the perils of drunk driving and assist individuals in overcoming alcohol dependency, these programs, while beneficial, can pose challenges in balancing with work commitments and personal life.
Court-Ordered Community Service
In the event of a DWI conviction, the court may impose a requirement to complete a specific number of community service hours. This could involve contributing to a non-profit organization or participating in a community project. Such penalties demand a significant investment of time and effort, potentially disrupting one’s work life and daily routine.
Impact on Insurance Premiums
Lastly, a conviction for drunk driving can result in a substantial increase in insurance premiums, creating a lasting financial burden for years after the arrest. Seeking assistance from competent legal representation is invaluable in navigating the legal complexities associated with a DWI case and working towards mitigating the potential escalation of insurance costs. Effective legal support becomes crucial in minimizing the long-term financial repercussions stemming from a drunk driving conviction.
Examples of Areas Where Drivers Are Frequently Pulled Over for DWI in Brigantine, NJ
DWI arrests can happen on nearly any public road at any time. Still, there are certain areas where drivers are more frequently stopped for DWI in Brigantine:
Law enforcement often sets up sobriety checkpoints, particularly during traffic hours, holidays, and events. These planned stops allow officers to systematically check drivers for signs of impairment, contributing to a higher likelihood of DWI arrests.
Near Entertainment Districts
Areas around entertainment districts, including bars, clubs, and restaurants, are frequently targeted for DWI enforcement. Increased alcohol consumption in these locations raises the risk of impaired drivers on the road, prompting law enforcement to focus on these areas.
Proximity to Sports Events or Concerts
Large gatherings such as sports events or concerts attract crowds, and the potential for alcohol consumption is high. Police often increase patrols around these venues to identify and apprehend drivers under the influence.
Residential Areas and Side Streets
Law enforcement is also vigilant in residential areas and side streets, as impaired drivers may take alternate routes to avoid main roads. Officers pay attention to unusual driving patterns and conduct stops to assess potential impairment.
Ensuring the safety of school zones is a priority for law enforcement. Drivers passing through these areas under the influence pose a significant risk, leading to increased patrols and DWI stops near schools during pick-up and drop-off times.
The Crucial Role of Legal Representation in DWI Cases in Brigantine
If you were accused of drunk driving in Brigantine, then you should seek assistance from our team as quickly as possible. There are several ways that our legal professionals can help with your case.
Navigating Legal Complexities
DWI cases involve intricate legal nuances. Fortunately, our knowledgeable lawyers understand the intricacies of New Jersey’s DWI laws and can guide you through the entire legal process. This includes understanding and addressing specific details of sobriety tests, arrest procedures, and evidence admissibility.
Building a Strong Defense
Furthermore, out team can employ a strategic approach to build a strong defense tailored to the unique circumstances of your case. We will scrutinize the evidence against the you, looking for potential flaws or inconsistencies that could be leveraged in their favor.
Furthermore, our lawyers can work minimize the potential consequences of your DWI charge. This may involve negotiating for reduced charges, exploring diversion programs, or advocating for leniency in sentencing. We understand the range of penalties associated with drunk driving convictions and will fight to achieve the most favorable outcome in your case.
Understanding Legal Rights
Lastly, our legal professionals will make sure that you are aware of your legal rights throughout the process of building your defense. This includes advising on how to interact with law enforcement officers, explaining the implications of plea options, and providing guidance on the best course of action.
Why You Should Not Wait to Call Our Lawyers After Being Pulled Over for DWI in Brigantine
In the aftermath of a drunk driving arrest, swift and decisive action is crucial to securing the best possible outcome for your case. If you wait to contact our lawyers, it could lead to missed opportunities to build a robust defense, gather crucial evidence, and navigate the legal intricacies effectively.
Our lawyers are prepared to provide immediate assistance, ensuring that every necessary step is taken promptly to protect your interests.
Our Law Firm Can Help with Your DUI Case in Brigantine, NJ
Seek support from our DUI defense attorneys by calling the Law Offices of John J. Zarych today at (609) 616-4956. We have offices in Cape May, Wildwood, Atlantic City, and in Atlantic County.