Pending New Jersey DWI Legislation Calls for Mandatory Ignition Interlock Devices, Reduced License Suspension Terms
As New Jersey drunk driving defense attorneys and experienced trial lawyers, my legal team knows quite a bit about the penalties that convicted drunk drivers face based on our state's DWI laws. Aside from monetary penalties that can total upward of thousands of dollars in fines, fees and auto insurance premium assessments, license suspensions are quite common and jail time is sometimes attached, depending on the particular circumstances. Suffice it to say that New Jersey is not very easy on drivers convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
When it comes to a potential license suspension following a DWI guilty verdict, the current laws are rather strict, to which anybody who has been found guilty of driving under the influence would likely attest. Still, there is a bill making its way through the legislature in Trenton that may seem bit more onerous, but which may make more sense to the many motorists who will be convicted of alcohol-related DWI in the future. We'll also add that some critics have already said that the bill as it is currently written is, in a word, flawed.
These days, as any qualified drunk driving attorney will tell you, the minimum license suspension for a convicted first-time offender is three months, and that's if the defendant's blood-alcohol content (BAC) as measured by police is between 0.08 and 0.10 percent. If the measured BAC is 0.10 percent or above, then even a first offense will net a driver a minimum of seven months' loss of driving privileges. Depending on the situation (such as offenses that occur within 1,000 feet of a school zone), that suspension period can be as long as 12 months.