Drunk driving in New Jersey is a serious offense that can lead to severe penalties on conviction. Many people think that they can keep an arresting officer from gathering the evidence necessary to make the charges stick, but these actions can actually create more problems for them.
Getting pulled over is a scary experience, and procedures that law enforcement take, such as field sobriety, breathalyzer or chemical tests are designed to implicate the accused. Before taking drastic action, however, you should not only know your rights but also how implied consent laws will affect your case.
Implied consent laws
Every state has implied consent laws, which basically view driving as a privilege, not a right. The driver’s license is a permit to drive on a public road. In exchange for this permission, the driver implicitly agrees to follow traffic laws and cooperate with the officer if they pull the driver over on suspicion of a traffic violation or other offense. They must also submit to required breath or chemical tests if the officer suspects they are DUI.
In New Jersey, DUI laws allow evidence against the accused to include the observations of the arresting officer, with or without a breath alcohol content (BAC) test. There are stiff fines even for a first offense, which can include impairment due to illegal or prescription drug categories as well as per se BAC levels as well as implied consent violations. some of these include:
- Per se BAC limit of 0.08%
- Enhanced BAC limit of 0.10%
- Zero tolerance BAC limit of 0.02% for underage drivers
- Implied consent to submit to an Alcotest/Breathalyzer test
If the suspect refuses to submit to a BAC test, law enforcement may take them to a hospital for a blood test, and the refusal to submit will impose similar penalties as a DUI charge.
Fighting charges in New Jersey
For residents of South New Jersey, getting charged with a DWI or DUI can have consequences that can seriously affect their lives, such as license suspension, driving restrictions, loss of insurance coverage, huge fines, or jail time. It is possible to fight the charges, however, especially if there were irregularities in the arresting procedures or in how the tests were administered.