In other states, drunk drivers will be accused of driving under the influence (DUI). However, in Vineland, NJ, this offense will be referred to as driving while intoxicated (DWI).
There are severe penalties for DWI, including expensive fines, license suspensions, and jail time. DWI charges can negatively affect several aspects of defendants’ lives. Fortunately, our legal team can help fight to have these charges dismissed.
Connect with our DUI and DWI defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych by calling (609) 616-4956.
What Are the Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Cumberland County, NJ
Drunk drivers can be severely penalized. The penalties that accompany your DWI charge can differ depending on various factors such as your driving record and blood alcohol content (BAC).
First-Time Offenders with General Intoxication or a BAC of .08%
If you were charged with first DWI offense and you were pulled over with a BAC of .08% of more, then you may face the following penalties:
- A fine between $240 and $400
- A prison sentence for a maximum of 30 days
- A suspension of your driver’s license for 3 months
While these penalties may not be as severe as those applied to other tiers of DWI charges, they can still detrimentally impact your life.
First-Time Offenders with a BAC of .10% or Higher or Signs of Drug Use
Those accused of driving with a BAC of .10% or higher and those who drive while under the influence of drugs can face the following penalties if it is their first offense:
- A fine between $300 and $500
- A prison sentence for a maximum of 30 days
- A suspension of your driver’s license for a time period between 7 months and 1 year
As you can see, more serious penalties can be applied to drivers who were more severely intoxicated.
If you are charged with any form of DWI within 10 years of your first offense, then you can face even more serious penalties. For instance, second-time offenders may endure the following:
- A fine between $500 and $1000
- A prison sentence for a minimum of 48 hours and maximum of 90 days
- A suspension of your driver’s license for 2 years
- An ignition interlock placed on your car to prevent it from starting without submission of a clean breathalyzer test
Finally, if you have been charged with DWI for a third time within 10 years, the following penalties may be applied to your case:
- A fine of $1000
- A prison sentence of least 180 days with no maximum limit
- A suspension of your driver’s license for 10 years
- An ignition interlock placed on your car, or a refusal of your ability to register a car in New Jersey for 10 years
If you are accused of your third DWI offense within a span of 10 years, the penalties you face can be very distressing.
Will You Face Jail Time for Drunk Driving in Cumberland County, NJ?
New Jersey authorizes prison time as a potential penalty for drunk driving charges. However, facing jail time for DWI is rare. Typically, longer prison sentences will only be imposed on drunk drivers who cause especially severe injuries or deaths. For other cases that produced less serious harm, fines and licenses suspensions often serve as sufficient punishment.
Sentencing Factors for Drunk Driving Charges in Cumberland County, NJ?
Certain penalties for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) such as license suspension cannot be avoided. Meanwhile, other penalties may be reduced for cooperation, good behavior, and other potentially mitigating factors. When assessing penalties in your case, the court may look to the following factors:
- Whether you were driving a passenger or commercial vehicle
- Whether you violated your probation by being arrested
- The level of alcohol content in your bloodstream
- Whether you were of legal drinking age
- Whether you caused a serious injury or fatality
- Whether you had a child as a passenger in your vehicle
What Happens When You Violate Probation After a Drunk Driving Charge in Cumberland County, NJ?
Probation for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is referred to as “informal probation.” It is a tool that courts use to force defendants to adhere to certain conditions without implementation of strict supervision. Unlike those under “formal probation,” those under informal probation for DWI offenses will likely not have to check in with probation officers, report their work status, list their addresses, or keep the government notified about various life choices they make.
If you violate your informal probation, then you may not face a severe prison sentence. However, you can still endure serious penalties.
Can You Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test After Being Pulled Over in Cumberland County, NJ?
If you are pulled over for drunk driving, you will be penalized if your refuse to take a breathalyzer test. New Jersey laws establish that all drivers are required to submit such tests upon their arrests. For your first offense of refusing a breathalyzer test, you may face a $300-$500 fine, a 12-month license suspension, installment of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and an increase in your car insurance rates. Just as they do for DWI convictions, the penalties for this offense increase with each subsequent violation.
However, you are permitted to refuse a field sobriety test after being pulled over in New Jersey. This is a test that officers can perform to assess whether you are intoxicated. It involves assessing your balance, coordination, and ability to divide their attention between multiple tasks. The three parts of this test involve analysis of the horizontal gaze nystagmus (involuntary jerking of the eyeball), the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg standing test. Still, you should be aware that if you refuse a field sobriety test, then the officer who pulled you over will likely arrest you and charge you with suspected DWI.
If You Were Accused of Drunk Driving in Cumberland County, NJ, You Can Call Our Law Firm for Support
Get in touch with our DUI and DWI defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych by calling us at (609) 616-4956.