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New Jersey DWI Per Se

There are two types of impairment in a New Jersey DWI case: physical impairment and legal impairment. Legal impairment, also known as per se, can be charged when an individual’s blood alcohol content is at or above the legal limit of .08.

Understanding the Legal Limit

The legal or per se limit for alcohol intoxication is .08. This means that if someone’s BAC is at or above this threshold, he or she is intoxicated under the law.

It is important to understand that having a per se level of intoxication does not mean that a person is also physically under the influence. However, having a BAC at or above the legal limit will result in an arrest for DWI per se.

In order to prove that a defendant was indeed DWI per se, the state must show that:

  • The breath testing machine was in good working order
  • The officer who administered the test was certified to do so
  • The test was conducted according to official police procedure

Defenses Against DWI Per Se

An experienced defense attorney will work to discredit these. If the defense is able to find an issue in any of these three areas, then the test result will be discredited and the defendant cannot be convicted of a per se violation.