New Jersey Ranks Among Least Strict States for DWI Penalties

According to a new study conducted by WalletHub, New Jersey ranked 45th out of 51 states when it comes to being strict about DWIs. In other words, New Jersey is the seventh-most lenient. The states deemed to be less strict than New Jersey include Maryland, Idaho, North Dakota, Ohio, the District of Columbia, and South Dakota. While New Jersey may be relatively lenient on the list, this does not mean that DWI charges should be taken lightly. A DWI arrest or conviction can lead to serious negative consequences for many aspects of your life. If you or someone close to you has been charged with a DWI, it is imperative to reach out to a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney who can protect your rights.

WalletHub’s recent findings were summarized in a report entitled Strictest and Most Lenient States on DUI. WalletHub decided to conduct this analysis because of the heightened number of drunk driving incidents. The report examined a number of factors, including:

  • Each state’s minimum jail time for a first and second conviction;
  • When a DWI is an automatic felony, if ever, in each state;
  • How long old DWI factors into penalties and how long an administrative license suspension lasts in each state;
  • Whether ignition interlock is mandatory;
  • Whether alcohol assessment is mandatory;
  • The amount of monetary fines for first and second offenses;
  • Whether the state has a “no refusal” sobriety testing policy;
  • Whether the state uses sobriety checkpoints; and
  • Other penalties.

In New Jersey, the offense of a DWI consists of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. In other words, a person is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol when he or she gets behind the wheel with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.

There is no minimum sentence for a first offense. For a second offense, the minimum sentence is two days. A prior DWI will be factored into new offenses for 10 years. New Jersey has an “implied consent” law, which means if you drive on New Jersey roads, you have implicitly agreed to submit to breath testing when an officer has reason to suspect that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol. State law mandates drivers to submit to breath testing, without any exceptions.

Among some of the consequences listed above, New Jersey law imposes a wide range of penalties for the traffic offense of a DWI. Some of these penalties, such as monetary fines and jail time, are largely punitive. Other penalties, however, have the additional goal of public safety.

A DWI conviction can have serious consequences for many aspects of your future. If you or someone close to you has been charged with a DWI, it is vital to hire a skilled New Jersey DWI attorney who can evaluate the facts of your case. With years of experience, we can help you understand your rights and guide you through the entire legal process. You can trust that we will defend you aggressively in court and seek a reduction or dismissal of your DWI charges. To schedule an initial consultation, call us at 877-450-8301 or reach out to us online.

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