It is hard enough to safely operate a motor vehicle on the busy roadways in New Jersey. Whether taking a long trip via the Garden State Parkway or NJ Turnpike or navigating backroads or main streets, there is always the chance of an accident. It seems scary enough, but it can prove even scarier if a driver chooses to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. The use of drugs can impair a driver’s motor skills, making them susceptible to slow reaction times and impairing their decision-making process. It is easy to see how this can lead to an accident, which in turn can lead to injuries or prove to be fatal for the driver under the influence or for the person or persons who became their victims.
DUI Laws & Penalties in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there are DUI (driving under the influence) laws in place to keep unsafe drivers off the road and to ensure that all motorists stay safe. There is not much difference between a DUI and a DWI (driving while intoxicated), except that a DUI encompasses more than just alcohol and specifically targets drugs.
Under New Jersey law, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she operates a vehicle while under the influence of narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug. In addition, if a person allows another person who is under the influence of narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug to operate their vehicle, they can also be convicted of a DUI and face the consequences.
For a first offense DUI, you will face a jail sentence of up to 30 days, a license suspension of between three months and one year, and a fine between $300 and $500. Those penalties are enhanced on the second offense: you would then face penalties of up to 90 days in jail, a license suspension of at least two years, and a fine between $500 and $1,000. In addition, you will have to complete 30 days of community service and the court can order the installation of ignition interlock device on every vehicle you own, lease, or regularly operate for a period of one to three years following your license suspension period.
If convicted of a third DUI offense, you will face no less than 180 days in jail, a license suspension for 10 years, and a minimum fine of $1,000. Again, the court will order the installation of ignition interlock devices for a period of one to three years following the end of your license suspension period.
When it comes to a DUI charge, there is also the possibility that you could end up facing drug possession charges if you are found in possession of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. A small amount of drugs can mean a disorderly persons offense penalty, but anything more than that may be considered a crime in New Jersey. All offenses come with fines and jail time.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Atlantic City DUI Defense Attorney Today
Just like a DWI conviction, a DUI conviction can change your life in the blink of an eye. It is also something that will stain your permanent record because a DUI/DWI charge cannot be expunged in New Jersey. This is why it is in your best interest to contact a certified DUI attorney to help build a strong defense and help lessen the charges you may face. In South Jersey, the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty have the necessary experience to strategically handle your legal proceedings.
With over 30 years of criminal defense experience, John W. Tumelty is the attorney who will put you in the best possible position to beat your DUI-related charges in Atlantic City, Egg Harbor, Galloway, or anywhere else in Atlantic County, NJ. All you have to do is call 609-385-4010 today to set up a free consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.