New Jersey DWI Laws
Understanding the Basic Principles of Drunk Driving Stops
Every driver in New Jersey should understand a few basic principles about the rights, responsibilities and obligations of drivers in relation to suspected drunk driving stops. Laws vary from state to state, and it helps to know the law before you interact with law enforcement officers in every stage of suspected DWI. Whether a police officer or state trooper is at your car window, administering a field sobriety test, arresting you, questioning you at the police station or making you submit to an Alcotest, you have rights and obligations.
I am John W. Tumelty, an experienced Atlantic City DWI attorney. I am a former state prosecutor with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and former assistant county prosecutor with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.
I strive to help people become familiar with New Jersey driving laws before they encounter legal trouble, but I also take immediate action to protect the rights of people who have been charged. I help them through the process with care. As your attorney, I will work to aggressively defend your rights and put you in position for your best possible results in the face of DWI charges in the Atlantic City area and throughout South Jersey.
DWI Laws You Should Know in New Jersey
- BAC: In New Jersey, a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 is the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle. Any BAC at or above that is considered driving while intoxicated. Consequences are harsher if a driver operates a motor vehicle at .1 BAC or higher, or if the driver is under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, which includes some prescription drugs ( DWI for drugs).
- Zero tolerance: New Jersey enforces a zero tolerance DWI law for underage DWI. Drivers younger than 21 years old may not legally drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.
- Implied consent: New Jersey enforces an implied consent law. If a law enforcement officer can establish probable cause to arrest a person for DWI, the officer can require a detained person to submit to the Alcotest, which has replaced the Breathalyzer.
- Breath test refusal: Refusal to take the Alcotest can result in an additional refusal charge on top of the DWI charge. The charge could result in license suspension and other penalties.
- Miranda rights: Law enforcement officers must read a detained person his or her Miranda rights, informing the accused that he or she has the right to remain silent, that anything said can be used in court and that he or she has the option to have a lawyer present before responding to any questions.
I strongly encourage you to take advantage of your rights and contact me as soon as possible. From the beginning, I can represent your best interests attentively and aggressively to ensure you are protected throughout the legal process.
I challenge all aspects of the state’s evidence resulting from the initial traffic stop to processing a breath test or blood test for blood alcohol content (BAC), including:
- Probable cause to stop the vehicle
- Right to conduct a field sobriety test and the test’s accuracy
- Probable cause to arrest
- Questioning of client during the traffic stop and at the police station
- Breath test results (Alcotest machine)
- Blood test results
- Drug test results
Please see more information on DWI penalties and consequences.
Contact The Law Offices of John W. Tumelty
I advance every possible defense to avoid a loss of license and minimize all possible consequences. If you’ve been charged with a DWI, call me today at 609-390-4600 to discuss your case or to schedule a free initial consultation.