In all likelihood, you may have some confusion about the distinction between driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving while under the influence (DUI). In New Jersey, the terms are used interchangeably. Nevertheless, driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol is a serious charge. Whether it’s a first, second, or a third-time offense, you need experienced legal representation from an attorney who handles DWI/DUI cases.
At the Ocean County Law Office of DiFrancia & DeDona, P.C., we have worked with a number of clients who are facing DWI charges. New Jersey is unique as driving while intoxicated is a motor vehicle offense. Most often, the matter is heard in municipal court. However, this is not the case if someone dies or is injured as a result of the actions of a driver who is under the influence. The case is then heard in New Jersey’s Superior Court.
New Jersey DWI Laws
Like other traffic violations, the law regarding driving while intoxicated is found in Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes. NJSA 39:4-50 specifies the circumstances that a motor vehicle operator may be found guilty of DWI:
- Driving while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug
- Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the defendant's blood
- Refusing to take a breathalyzer test as requested by law enforcement
Meanwhile, you do not have to actually be operating a car or other vehicle to face a charge of driving while under the influence. The court could also find you guilty of DWI if you allow someone else to drive your car who is determined to be under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug. The same is true if the vehicle operator’s BAC level is more than .08%.
There are many considerations when it comes to defending charges that involve driving while intoxicated. Our experienced New Jersey DWI lawyers will look at a number of factors. Was there probable cause to pull you over? Are there videos of your arrest? How were sobriety tests administered? Could there have been issues with the breathalyzer? What about blood or urine tests?
Our office will evaluate the evidence in your case and come up with a strategy that best helps the defense of your DWI charges.