What’s the Difference?
Before you get behind the wheel in New Jersey, it is important to know what the state’s laws are surrounding driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Known by the acronym DUI, in many states there is a difference between this particular charge and that of DWI, or driving while intoxicated. Luckily for us in New Jersey, there really is no difference between the two and you can use either one to describe the same situation. Often, you will be able to just write or say both, as in DUI/DWI.
In New Jersey, the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol fall under the same statues, so they can be fairly easily understood and easily accessed. There are the same levels of conviction, consequence, and program requirements when it comes to both DUI and DWI, including detainment, surcharges, and license suspension. So while there isn’t much difference between DUI and DWI, you would do well to understand what those mean in of themselves as well.
The relevant statue to the situation of driving under the influence in New Jersey is N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, which details the specific penalties and requirements for being found guilty in each charge. Now let’s take a closer look together at some of the specific penalties and requirements that go into an average DUI or DWI charge.
The Blood Alcohol Concentration, or BAC, is the way to measure how much alcohol is in a drivers’ system and impairing their driving abilities. For anyone who cannot legally drink at all, just having a 0.01% BAC is enough to land them with a DUI or DWI charge, while for those over 21 it’s a bit higher. Those who can legally drink in most situations still cannot legally drive If their BAC is reading at least 0.08% or even higher, in many situations.
Since BAC is not necessarily an accurate reader of the use of other illegal, prescription, or over the counter drugs, it is not necessary to have a successful filing of a DUI or DWI charge. These drugs, even when legal, can severely affect an individual’s ability to operate a motorized vehicle. There are a range of penalties associated with being found guilty for a DUI or DWI on either drug or alcohol related charges, which typically depend heavily on the amount of substances and level of intoxication, as well as whether or not it was a first or subsequent offense.
The consequences of having a DUI or DWI charge as a driver are severe, and can follow you long in life. And to add insult to injury, you are also susceptible to getting hit with a number of associated charges when you are charged with a DUI or DWI. Some of these include driving with a suspended license, possessing an open container of alcohol, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia. If you are working to defend against multiple charges in this way, you will absolutely need the services of a skilled DWI or DUI attorney on your side.
When you’re looking for one such skilled attorney, look no further than our team here at the Law Offices of Leon Matchin. For more information about our services and areas of expertise, give us a call today at 732-662-7658.