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Gloucester City, NJ DWI Defense Lawyer

Driving drunk, or even buzzed, is something that New Jersey police crack down on across the State. In Gloucester City, whether you are a New Jersey resident, you are from across the River in Pennsylvania, or you are from somewhere else out-of-state, you could face serious penalties and lose your drivers’ license if you are convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey.

If you, your child, or a loved one was charged with and arrested for DWI in Gloucester City, NJ, talk to an attorney right away. The South Jersey DWI lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych represent those charged with DWI and other driving and criminal offenses throughout the state, and may be able to help you with your charges. For a free consultation on your case, call our Gloucester City DWI lawyers today at (609) 616-4956.

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Drunk Driving Offenses in Gloucester City, NJ

Most people know that it is illegal to drive drunk across the country, but may not understand where the specific lines are drawn. First, the concept of being “drunk” is difficult to define. Many people have a higher “tolerance” than others, and alcohol may not affect them as severely. However, much of this comes from practice using fine motor skills and balance while drinking. The chemical and physical reactions in your body may still do things like impair your coordination, slow your reaction times, and affect your judgment. This means that, even if you do not feel drunk, you could still be too drunk to drive.

New Jersey’s drunk driving statute, N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50 makes it a crime to drive a vehicle while you are intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, or have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. Alternatively, it also makes it illegal to allow someone else to drive your car (or a car under your control) if they are drunk or high.

In proving the driving element, police and prosecutors often have a simple task. If you were caught behind the wheel on the road, police can arrest you for drunk driving. Alternatively, if you were stopped in a location you could not have accessed without driving there, police may recognize this fact and arrest you anyway. Even if you are asleep behind the wheel, if your keys are accessible or in the ignition, you could still be arrested and charged with DWI.

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As for the intoxication element, police have a number of techniques. First, police can test your BAC – a measure of the amount of alcohol in your system – using breath or blood tests. While a warrant is required for a blood test, you can be forced to use a breath test when you are arrested, and refusing a breath test carries its own penalties. If your BAC is .08% or higher, you can be charged with DWI. Alternatively, police can use “field sobriety tests” to analyze your balance and other physical abilities to test for intoxication.

Penalties for DWI in Gloucester City, NJ

If you are arrested for DWI, your case is not automatically over. Police and prosecutors in New Jersey must first prove their case in court. This means that you can hire an attorney to face your charges in court. This could give you a chance to challenge the evidence from blood or breath tests, field sobriety tests, and the arrest itself.

If you are convicted, you could face serious penalties. New Jersey’s DWI charges have two levels:

  1. A “low-tier” DWI covers driving while generally intoxicated due to alcohol, or driving with a BAC between .08% and .10%
  2. A “high-tier” DWI covers driving while under the effects of drugs, or driving with a BAC of .10% or higher.

These two tiers have different penalties, with the higher-tier DWI carrying a harsher penalty. Additionally, second DWIs and third or subsequent DWIs carry increased penalties.

For a first time, low-tier DWI, you face the possibility of:

  • Fines of $250-400;
  • Up to 30 days in jail;
  • A 3-month license suspension;
  • The possibility of an ignition interlock for 6 months to 1 year; and
  • Standard fees, drivers’ education, and possible probation supervision.

For a first time, high-tier DWI, you face the possibility of:

  • Fines of $300-500;
  • Up to 30 days in jail;
  • A 7-month to 1-year license suspension;
  • The possibility of an ignition interlock for 6 months to 1 year; and
  • Standard fees, drivers’ education, and possible probation supervision.

For a second DWI of any kind, you face the possibility of:

  • Fines of $500-$1,000;
  • Jail time of 48 hours to 90 days;
  • A 2-year license suspension;
  • A mandatory 1-year to 3-year ignition interlock; and
  • Standard fees, drivers’ education, and possible probation supervision.

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For a third or subsequent DWI of any kind, you face the possibility of:

  • Fines of $1,000;
  • Jail time of at least 180 days (or 90 days in jail and 90 days in an in-patient treatment facility);
  • A 10-year license suspension;
  • A mandatory 1-year to 3-year ignition interlock; and
  • Standard fees, drivers’ education, and possible probation supervision.

South Jersey DWI Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, talk to a Gloucester City DWI defense lawyer right away. The DWI defense attorneys at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych represent those charged with DWI in Gloucester City and throughout South Jersey. For a free consultation on your case, call (609) 616-4956 today.