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New Jersey Physical Impairment

There are two types of impairment under New Jersey law: legal impairment and physical impairment. Legal impairment is measured by a person’s blood alcohol content; anything above .08 is considered impaired. On the other hand, physical impairment is when someone shows obvious signs of intoxication.

Signs of physical impairment may include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot or watery eyes
  • Difficulty performing a simple task (such as locating your drivers license)
  • Problems with sensory or motor skills
  • Sluggishness
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Odor of alcohol

Because alcohol affects people differently, not everyone who is exhibiting signs of physical impairment will also have a BAC at or above the legal limit.

Under the Limit: Under Arrest?

You may be surprised to learn that it is not necessary to have a BAC reading at or above .08 in order to be arrested for—and even convicted of—DWI. Showing signs of intoxication could land you in police custody, facing a physical impairment charge.