In New Jersey, law enforcement maintains strict guidelines during DUI/DWI traffic stops. If a police officer observes any behavior suggesting impaired driving, they can initiate a traffic stop. You will need legal guidance from the Law Offices of Bartholomew Baffuto if arrested. In this article, learn about the legal alcohol limits in New Jersey and the implications of exceeding them.
Legal Alcohol Limits in New Jersey
For most drivers in New Jersey, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%. Exceeding it can have serious consequences. However, some drivers can face DUI charges even if their BAC is lower than 0.08%.
Implied Consent Laws
If you choose to drive in New Jersey, you are automatically presumed to have given your consent to undergo a breath or chemical test to determine your BAC levels if you are arrested on valid probably cause to be charged with impaired driving. This significant legal concept can affect your rights when facing DUI charges.
Drivers 21 Years Old and Above
If you are 21 or older and legally allowed to consume alcohol the legal issue is not the alcohol but the BAC while operating a motor vehicle. You should be aware of the legal consequences of exceeding the BAC limit of 0.08%. However, it doesn’t end there. New Jersey further varies penalties within a range at sentencing for DUI offenses based on your BAC reading during the traffic stop or subsequent refusal of breath testing.
If your BAC falls between 0.08% and just below 0.10%, penalties for a first offense can include mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) usage, potential jail time, and participation in Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) classes. Fines and fees also apply.
For first offenders with a BAC reading between 0.10% and just below 0.15% expect similar penalties as above with the additional penalty of license suspension.
Penalties escalate for first offense conviction based on BAC readings of 0.15% and above. Penalties are more severe and include a mandatory license suspension, extended ignition interlock usage, potential jail time, and IDRC classes. You will also face significant fines and surcharges.
When facing prosecution, you need a DUI attorney in New Jersey by your side to guide you on the possible repercussions and help build a solid defense.
Drivers Below 21 Years Old
For drivers under 21 years old, New Jersey enforces a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol. Even a minimal BAC can lead to charges for underage DWI. The penalties depend on age and BAC level at the time of arrest:
- BAC below 0.07% may result in a driver’s license suspension for up to 90 days, mandatory community service, IDRC classes, and a highway safety program.
- A BAC of 0.08% or higher would lead to prosecution for DWI without regard to age.
Commercial Driver’s License Holders
If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you must adhere to a stricter BAC limit when operating a commercial vehicle. Any reading of 0.04% or higher while driving a commercial vehicle can result in a DUI charge. However, the standard 0.08% BAC limit applies if you drive a non-commercial vehicle. Additionally, a CDL holder convicted of DUI faces a minimum one-year suspension of their CDL.
In conclusion, understanding New Jersey’s legal alcohol limits and the associated penalties is crucial for every driver. DUI charges can have severe consequences, both personally and professionally. If you face such charges, seek the assistance of a supremely qualified DUI attorney in New Jersey. Contact the Law Offices of Bartholomew Baffuto to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case.