First Offense DWI Suspension

The most common predicate act for license suspensions in New Jersey is Driving While Intoxicated. For a first time offender, your license will be suspended for at least three months, but may reach as high as two years (School Zone DWI). These suspension may lead to future driving while suspended charges or act as enhancing factors for subsequent DWI charges.


What is the New Jersey’s DWI Law?

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is governed under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. Under the enacted statute, it is unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that exceeds 0.08%. A key question for many of our clients who are charged with a DWI offense is, “how does a Prosecutor prove that I was intoxicated?” There are essentially two things that the State, or Prosecutor, must prove in order to obtain a conviction for a DWI. First, was the defendant “operating” the vehicle and, second, were they intoxicated, as defined by the New Jersey legislature? Proof of intoxication is done primarily through two tests, namely Field Sobriety Tests and the Alcotest 7110 (Breathalyzer).


How Long Will My License Be Suspended for a First DWI?

If this is a first offense, and your BAC falls between 0.08% and 0.10% or the State only relies on the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (which are a 0.08% per se violation), then you will face a fine between $250 and $400, a three (3) month license suspension. However, if the BAC is above 0.10%, then you are exposed to a fine between $300 and $500, a license suspension between seven (7) months and one (1) year, up to thirty (30) days of incarceration, and a mandatory twelve (12) to forty-eight (48) hours at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. Additionally, regardless of the BAC, the defendant will face a $1,000 surcharge for three (3) consecutive years and the possibility of the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in the defendant’s vehicle.

If the DWI occurs within a school zone, then the court may suspend your driving privileges for a period of one (1) to two (2) years.


Will My License Be Suspended for Failing to Pay the Fines or Surcharges from a DWI?

Failure to pay any of the court-required fines, surcharges, or penalties (i.e. IDRC course) will result in an extended suspension of you fine. Complying with New Jersey’s IDRC requirement may be especially difficult for those individuals who reside in another state. New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission has considered this and permits an “out-of-state” IDRC course to suffice in lieu of a New Jersey IDRC course. The paperwork must be properly filed with NJ MVC for satisfaction of this requirement. For more information on an out-of-state IDRC course, contact our offices and speak with an attorney today.

For immediate assistance with you  license suspension issue, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall today at 1-800-509-3333