Drivers in New Jersey must always remain in the proper condition to operate the vehicle safely. Being under the influence of substances like alcohol or drugs negatively impacts their ability to do this. Police officers watch behaviors of drivers on the road to determine if anyone is showing signs of impaired driving.
There are several things drivers in New Jersey must know about impaired driving charges. Remember these important points:
#1: Reasonable suspicion is required
Police officers must have a valid reason to initiate a traffic stop. The necessary standard is reasonable suspicion, which means that they see something that a reasonable person would believe is a sign of the driver breaking the law. In the case of impaired driving, this can be something like running a stop sign, stopping without a reason or swerving between lanes.
#2: Alcohol limits aren’t all the same
For drivers who are at least 21 years old, the limit for a blood-alcohol concentration test is .08%. Underage drivers are subjected to the .01% limit for BAC. Anything over those values can lead to impaired driving charges.
#3: Penalties vary greatly
Penalties for impaired driving convictions vary greatly. Even for a first DUI conviction, you’re facing imprisonment, fines, community service, driver’s license suspension and the use of an ignition interlock. Completion of the Intoxicated Driver Program is also required. Penalties for subsequent drunk driving convictions are harsher than that for a first.
#4: Implied consent applies
Anyone who’s driving on New Jersey roads is subjected to implied consent laws. This means they can’t refuse chemical testing for alcohol without facing penalties. You can lose your driver’s license for at least seven months just for violating the implied consent law. Fines and other penalties are also levied for this violation.
Facing drunk driving charges can be challenging. Anyone in this position should learn about their options and how they affect what penalties they’re facing. Working with someone who’s familiar with these charges may help you to determine your next steps.