DUI & DWI – NJSA 39:4-50
Section 39:4-50 of the New Jersey Statutes deals with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, hallucinogenics, or habit-producing drugs.
If you have been arrested for DUI/DWI in the State of New Jersey, you should immediately contact a defense attorney who specializes in this area of law. New Jersey has strict laws and penalties regarding operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and/or drugs (even if they are Prescribed Medications). There are no “hardship” licenses in New Jersey even for the limited purpose of driving to and from work. Because this is such a complex area of law it is recommended you find an attorney who has extensive experience representing clients charged with DWI.
New Jersey DUI/DWI law is governed by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. Under that statute, a person can be convicted of DUI/DWI in two ways in New Jersey.
The first is by operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. In this case, the State must prove that you consumed alcohol to the point where you were in a seriously diminished capacity. To prove this, the State will usually rely on your performance on the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs).
The second way someone can be convicted of DWI/DUI is by violating the state’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit of 0.08%. In this case, the State must prove your BAC exceeded 0.08% through blood testing or the breathalyzer test.
If you refuse to take a chemical test, such as the breathalyzer or Alcotest, when ordered to by law enforcement, you will be charged for refusing under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4. The reason for this charge is because when you receive your driver’s license in New Jersey, you give your implied consent to submit to chemical tests. In addition to being charged with refusing to submit, you may still be charged with driving under the influence.
Click here to view DUI penalties
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol in NJ
The penalties you face if convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol in NJ depend on how high your blood alcohol content was at the time of your arrest and whether this was your first offense. If your blood alcohol level was greater than 0.08 percent but less than 0.10 percent, you will be fined between $250 and $400 and lose your license for three months. If convicted of a DUI, you will also be required to participate in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center program for between 12 and 48 hours. The court also has the discretion to imprison you for up to 30 days.
If your blood alcohol level at the time of your arrest was greater than 0.10 percent, your fine will increase to between $300 and $500 and you will lose your license for seven to 12 months. You will still face 30 days’ imprisonment and need to participate in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center program.
Driving Under the Influence of Other Drugs in NJ
Though driving under the influence of alcohol is the most common violation of NJSA 39:4-50, the statute also prohibits driving under the influence of habit-producing drugs like narcotics and hallucinogenics. The penalties for first-time driving under the influence of drugs are the same as for driving with a blood alcohol level over 0.10 percent. It should also be noted that there is no minimum level of drugs you must have in your bloodstream to be considered “under the influence.” Any amount that impairs your ability to drive is sufficient.
A NJSA 39:4-50 conviction (or a guilty plea) will result in the addition of nine insurance points to your NJ driving record. These points are different from the Motor Vehicle Commission points that are given for some driving offenses. They are used by New Jersey insurance companies to determine whether they will insure you and, if they do choose to insure you, how much your premium will be. If you get too many points, you may find that no insurance companies will be willing to cover you, and you will be forced to purchase insurance through the more expensive New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJPAIP).
The NJ Law Firm of Richard Huizenga is here to help
The Law Firm of Richard Huizenga not only knows the law, but also how the system works, and we can use that knowledge and experience to help protect your rights and fight for you to achieve the best possible outcome.
We can help you by looking for flaws and mistakes in the state’s case against you. This includes looking at the reasons the police officer pulled you over in the first place. In order for a traffic stop to be valid in NJ, the police must be able to show that you broke at least one traffic law or that they had some other logical reason for stopping you. We can help determine if you were pulled over for valid reason.
We will also look for any mistakes that the police made while conducting tests to determine if you were impaired or not. These tests can include field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, Alcotests, and the testing of blood samples if you refused to take a breathalyzer. We will review other specifics regarding your arrest, such as making sure you have been read your Miranda rights and that police respected those rights.
Our NJ law firm will aggressively pursue every approach to defend you against the DUI/DWI and/or Refusal. We will seek to minimize the penalties and obtain the best possible result.
As a New Jersey law firm that specializes in DUI, we can make sure your rights are protected. Call the Law Firm of Richard Huizenga at (732) 500-4688 for a free consultation.