IS DWI A CRIMINAL CHARGE IN NEW JERSEY?
In New Jersey, DWI is classified as a traffic offense, but DWI charges carry serious penalties. Not every offender, however, faces a license suspension. A suspension isn’t required for first-time offenders arrested with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level below 0.15% – if the driver promptly installs an ignition interlock advice (IID) in his or her personal vehicle. Other possible penalties for a DWI conviction include community service, fines, and in some cases, time in jail.
You can also face DWI charges if you drive under the influence of any intoxicating drug – whether that drug is illegal, prescribed, or over-the-counter. The type of drug does not matter – what matters is that you are impaired and unable to operate a vehicle safely. If you’re convicted of a drug-related DWI, you’ll face a 7-to-12-month license suspension, up to 30 days in jail, and fines and surcharges surpassing $3,500. A second conviction is punishable with from 2 to 90 days in jail and a 2-year driver’s license suspension along with higher fines and surcharges.