Any Difference Between a DUI & DWI in NJ?

Is A DUI Different Than a DWI In NJ?

The terms DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) both refer to the operation of a vehicle while impaired by drugs like marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs, morphine, heroin, LSD and alcohol. Yes, alcohol is a drug!

Depending on your state, the phrases may or may not be interchangeable and could differentiate the severity of the crime. A DUI is not a crime in NJ.

In NJ, a DUI or a DWI mean the same things.

Some states use different terms to describe such offenses.

For example, in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island it is called “Operating Under the Influence” or “OUI.”

In NJ, what does it mean to “Operate” a vehicle?

This is a complicated & controversial issue. Many DUI cases in NJ are won by challenging the “operation” issue. If the police arrested you for DUI in NJ because you were drunk yet sitting in a “parked” car, you might have a strong case.

Can I Get a DUI In NJ for Marijuana?

Yes.

Every day, NJ police charge motorist with Marijuana DUIs.

Under NJ law, marijuana use is considered as common as alcohol consumption.

This means that the police do not need any fancy training or special tests to charge you with DUI for smoking pot.

If you got arrested for DUI in NJ because of marijuana and not alcohol, you might have a good case. There are many ways to defend this type of case.

NJ DUI Lawyer

Can I Get a DUI In NJ for Other Drugs?

NJ DUI Lawyer

Yes, but things get more complicated here.

If you do not have alcohol or marijuana in your system and you get arrested for DUI in NJ because of drugs like cocaine or heroin the case takes on different challenges.

The police may have taken your blood or urine, but they had to this legally.

Also, the police officer who administered your FSTs does indeed need specialized training.

What is BAC in NJ DUI cases?

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in an individual’s bloodstream.

To determine one’s BAC, an officer may issue a breathalyzer test.

If you get arrested for DUI in NJ, and you refused to give a breath sample, this becomes a separate charge.

You will now face two charges: DUI & Refusal. Either charge can result in the loss of your driving privileges.

On the other hand, there is no separate charge for refusing “Field Sobriety Tests” (FST).

Here’s a helpful article: Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests In NJ?

What are the penalties for DUI in NJ?

If you get a DUI in NJ, read this article: Can I drive in NJ while my DUI is pending in court?

DUI Penalties in NJ for a driver’s first offense will vary from the penalties assessed on a third DUI offense.

Of course, each case is different depending on whether you are facing companion criminal charges.

According to NJ stat 39:4-50, first-time offenders the penalties subjected to the offender are as followed:

  • A fine of $250-$400
  • A minimum of 12 hours of jail time and no more than 30 days.
  • Three-month license suspension.
  • A $1,000 insurance surcharge for the next three years
  • Mandatory instruction – Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)

Second-time offenders:

  • A minimum fine of $500 and maximum of $1,000.
  • 48 hours of consecutive imprisonment; between 2-90 days
  • 12-48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
  • A minimum of 2 years with license suspension
  • A $1,000 insurance surcharge for the next three years
  • Mandated installation of an ignition interlock device within 1-3 years after the license is reinstated

Third-time offenders:

  • A minimum fine of $1,000
  • 180 days of imprisonment
  • Ten years of license suspension
  • 12-48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) with the required fee
  • A $1,500-$4,500 insurance surcharge for the next three years
  • A maximum of 90 days community service
  • Mandated installation of an ignition interlock device within 1-3 years after the license is reinstated

Penalties Subjected to Offenders of DUI in a School Zone:

  • $500-$800 fine
  • 60 additional days of imprisonment
  • License suspension for an additional one or two years

What are the penalties for Refusal in NJ?

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of Refusal, you face the following:

First-Time Offender:

  • $300-$500 fine
  • Suspension of license no less than seven months and no more than ten months
  • Mandated installation of an ignition interlock device between 6 months to 1 year after reinstatement of license
  • A $1,000 insurance surcharge for the next three years
  • $100 fee allocated for the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund

Second-Time Offender:

  • $500-$1,000 fine
  • Two-year license suspension
  • Mandated installation of an ignition interlock device between 1-3 years after reinstatement of license
  • A $1,000 insurance surcharge for the next three years
  • $100 fee allocated for the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund

Third-Time Offender:

  • $1,000 fine
  • Ten-year license suspension
  • Mandated installation of an ignition interlock device between 1-3 years after reinstatement of license
  • A $1,500 insurance surcharge for the next three years
  • $100 fee allocated for the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund

Getting A DUI In NJ Is Not A Crime But It's No Joke

NJ is only one of four states in the entire country that has not criminalized DUIs.

However, getting a DUI in NJ has serious consequences.

People who get DUIs lose their jobs & homes because they can’t get to work and pay their rent or mortgage.

If you drive for a living, the DUI laws for commercial license holders are even worse.

If we can help, we will. Our consultations are free.

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