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How drunk driving is defined in New Jersey

In New Jersey, a driver is legally intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher. However, it is possible for a person to be considered under the influence of alcohol regardless of that individual’s BAC. This is because a person’s judgment, reaction time and vision may be diminished after a single drink. Those who are convicted of DUI may pay a fine, spend time in jail and have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles.

The exact penalty a person faces depends on that individual’s BAC at the time he or she was taken into custody. For instance, a person who has a BAC of between .08% and .099% will pay a fine of up to $400 for a first offense. However, drivers may pay a fine of up to $500 if they have a BAC of between .10% and .149%.

Those who have previous DUI convictions on their record may also be subject to increased penalties. For a first offense, a person can expect to spend up to 30 days in jail while that same person could spend up to 180 days in jail for a third offense. Parents or guardians may face additional penalties if they are driving while impaired and are accompanied by minors who are 17 or younger.

A person who is charged with drunk driving is not necessarily guilty of that crime. An attorney may be able to cast doubt on a police report or other information used to charge an individual. It may be possible for an attorney to assert that an officer saw a vehicle swerving because of a mechanical defect and not because the car’s driver was impaired. This may be enough to obtain a favorable plea deal or an acquittal.