DWI/DUI FAQs and More Information

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Being charged with a DWI in New Jersey is a serious offence and is treated as such by the courts. This can mean impounding your vehicle, severe fines, loss of your license, and a permanent mark on your record.

If you or someone you know has recently been charged with a DWI, there is assistance available. Consulting with a NJ DWI Lawyer can identify options that can help you with your charge. Use this page to learn more about DWI definintions, laws, penalties, and your options. When you are going up against the State of New Jersey you need experienced legal counsel. Regardless of whether you are facing an indictable criminal charge in the Superior Court, a drug charge in Municipal Court, a DWI, or even a simple motor vehicle charge you want to have the best possible result. Thomas H. Martin has been helping people face the most difficult of situations for years. Contact Thomas H. Martin at (732) 431-2224 to arrainge a free consultation.

Q: What is “blood-alcohol concentration” or “blood-alcohol level?”

A: Blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is the level of alcohol in the bloodstream from drinking alcoholic beverages. BAC readings are used in court as evidence in drunk-driving cases. The most common method of measure is a breath test, although blood and/or urine testing is sometimes done. A result of 08,or higher may establish a presumption of intoxication. The details of the .08 BAC presumption laws vary among the states, but all 50 states have adopted .08 as their official intoxication level, in large part because of a federal threat of otherwise withholding highway funds.

Q: Can I refuse a Breathalyzer¬ģ test?

A: Every state has its own version of an implied consent law providing that a driver impliedly consents to alcohol testing just by the act of driving. In many states, a refusal to take a breath test is itself a criminal violation subject to stiff penalties. For example, refusing a breath test might result in automatic drivers-license suspension or revocation. If you are ultimately found guilty of a drunk-driving offense, there may be additional penalties because of the test refusal, such as a stiffer sentence. Your test refusal may also be used as evidence against you in a drunk-driving case.

 

DWI Quick Tips

from newj33.tempdomainname.com

1. Don’t Panic

Getting busted for DWI is not the end of the world. More and more people are getting arrested for this offense each and every year. Believe it or not many of my clients have told me that their DWI case was a turning point in their life. They have advised me that they really “shaped up” after their case was over. Try to turn a negative DWI case into a positive aspect of your life.

2. Know Your Case

Don’t expect your lawyer to be a wizard and a mind reader. You have lived your DWI
cases, and you know the facts better than the judge or your lawyer. In many cases, the police officer(s) makes many mistakes. The key factor in most DWI cases is how well the police “paper” your case. The better the police “paper” your case, then the greater the chance that you will lose your case.

However, know the discrepancies in your case inside and out. All defendants must carefully scrutinize the discovery that their lawyer sends them. Point out the errors in the paperwork to your lawyer. The more you help your lawyer then the better results you will obtain in your case.

3. Save Your Money

In all probability, you are not going to beat all of the charges filed against you. On D-day, don’t go to court with $20 in your pocket. Be prepared to pay some fines. The fines for DWI cases and for related companion traffic tickets are getting higher every year. Municipal Courts absolutely hate it when a DWI defendant comes to court with $20, when they know full well that their fines are going to be in the hundreds of dollars.

4. Know Your Court

Perhaps the most important aspect of your DWI case is to know your Municipal Court where your case is filled in. Some courts are more liberal than others. Talk to your lawyer about the “track record” of the Municipal Court where your case is filed in.

5. Don’t Plead Guilty Too Quickly

Many people just want to plead guilty really quickly just to get the case over with. Don’t plead guilty until you have at least carefully reviewed the discovery. Many times, you can absolutely become amazed as to the amount of errors that were made by the police in your case by simply reviewing the discovery.

The alcotest/draeger certificates may have expired. The discovery may indicate that this breath testing machine may have been malfunctioning around the time of your arrest. The police reports may not substantiate that there was sufficient probable cause to justify the stop of your case. Believe me, there are many DWI cases wherein the paperwork is just not properly prepared. Many police stations are overwhelmed, and they just can’t keep up with the paperwork that is necessary to convict DWI drivers. This is not the case in all of the towns. However, in some towns if you are one of the more fortunate DWI defendants, then the paperwork and discovery may reveal that there are many viable defenses in your case.

6. Get Help if You Need It!

Let’s be honest many DWI drivers have beaten the system for years. Many DWI drivers have been driving drunk for a very long time, and they have not gotten busted. This is your day of reckoning. Remember, DWI drivers can’t beat the system forever. If you are an alcoholic go get professional help. Go to rehab if your drinking problem is that severe. Also join up with your local Alcoholic Anonymous Association. Joining AA is a must. Moreover, if you have a very egregious case, the fact that you joined AA, can be used as a mitigating factor at your sentencing.

7. Don’t Blow Your Money if Your Case Stinks

If you have a real high B.A.C. reading and if the evidence against you is overwhelming, then cut your losses and work out a reasonable agreement with the prosecutor. Municipal Courts really don’t like it when a DWI defendant who is overwhelmingly guilty, decides to try his case anyway. The Municipal Courts are booked! At most Municipal Courts you can’t even park there because they are so over crowded. If you insist on a trial, then you will eventually receive one. However, only try your case if you have a “fighting chance.”

8. Change Your Automobile Insurance Over to Your Spouse

If a person is convicted of DWI, then their insurance rates will triple. Therefore, it is advisable to switch all automobile insurance policies to your spouse.

9. Don’t Blow Off Your Case Just Because You Don’t Live in New Jersey

Many people make the mistake that if they don’t live in New Jersey, then they don’t have to take a New Jersey DWI charge seriously. This is a major error and misconception. If a person is convicted in New Jersey, then after the case is over, New Jersey will send a report of the conviction to the driver’s home state. This is a requirement of the Interstate Driver Compact. In most cases, the driver’s home state will then also suspend the driver for the NJ DWI conviction. With the explosion of the internet DWI drivers can’t hide anywhere.

10. Always Review Your Driver’s Abstract

Many times DWI drivers simply do not review their driver’s abstract before they plead guilty to a DWI charge. Remember, the sentencing penalties are dramatically different for a first time DWI offense, as compared to a second time DWI offense. I have been involved in many cases when clients simply forgot to tell me that they had a prior DWI on their record. All prior DWI’s show up on the defendant’s driving record. Just don’t assume that your prior DWI is ten years old. Review your driver’s abstract before you plead guilty!

 

 

Alcohol & Drugs Awareness

from www.dmv.org

You might think you know a lot about drugs and alcohol.

But, just because you’re familiar with these matters doesn’t mean you know what you truly need to understand about them.

Some drink excessively or use drugs in the privacy of their own home, and no one is the wiser. Some, however, take it to the street by getting behind the wheel of a car. When you do this, suddenly your private alcohol or drug use becomes everyone’s business because you are now a danger to others and have become a potential threat to driving and public safety.

Most people who drink or do drugs and then drive probably don’t think what they are doing is so awful or dangerous. But, that demonstrates a lack of awareness of the effect of alcohol and drugs on the body. So, let’s take a look at this matter.

Physical Effects of Alcohol

Absorption, transporting, and changing. If you understand these three basic steps of alcohol processing, you’ll appreciate the total influence it can have on your body.

During the absorption stage, your body absorbs the alcohol into your bloodstream. The transporting step is intuitively labeled because this is where the bloodstream transports the alcohol to your body organs. The last step, changing, is what your body tries to do to the alcohol to transform it into a nonharmful substance. Your body works hard, especially your liver, to break down the alcohol so it can be eliminated.

If your system gets overwhelmed and the changing step backs up, your body can become toxic, and alcohol poisoning or even death can result.

While this only occurs in severe cases of alcohol use, damage can occur to your body even in more moderate alcohol intakes. Liver and other organs can be harmed. You can put on weight, feel sluggish, look haggard, accelerate the aging process, and be more susceptible to mood swings. And, the restorative functions of good sleep can be diluted by alcohol use, preventing you from functioning at your peak performance.

Driving and Drug or Alcohol Use

Your personality type and your genetics may put you at high risk for driving under the influence(DUI) violations and their serious ramifications. But, just because you might be predisposed to having problems with alcohol doesn’t mean your destiny is certain.

Being aware of how alcohol affects you personally can help you make good choices; you will learn about this in your driver’s education courses. Using common sense can keep you out of trouble, too.

And, always be mindful of the following:

– Drinking and driving is the leading cause of death for Americans 17-24 years old.
– The cost of an average DUI is $3,000.
– 70 people die each day in America in drunk driving accidents.

Blood Alcohol Concentration

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is a measurement of the alcohol in your blood. As your body absorbs the alcohol you drink, it moves it through your stomach and into your blood just 30 minutes after you started to imbibe.

Sometimes this happens at a slower rate because of what you recently ate, how many drinks you had, and how quickly you drank. Gender makes a difference, too. Women keep alcohol in their blood longer because they naturally have more fat; alcohol doesn’t absorb into fat, so it lingers in the bloodstream.

There is some disagreement about BAC measurement and legal limits. Some feel the maximum legal BAC limits for driving (usually up to 0.08%) are arbitrary and not meaningful for many drivers. Others, however, believe levels of 0.08% are extremely dangerous and result in reduced reaction time, impaired motor skills, and foggy thinking.

Be sure to know the laws in your state regarding drugs, alcohol, and driving, to avoid unpleasant surprises. In New Jersey, you’ll be convicted of DUI with a BAC of 0.08%; however, some states have more stringent regulations, especially for younger drivers. Depending on your body, choosing to have a single, small drink could put you over the legal limit.

Disclaimer and Privacy Notice

This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your unique needs. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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