Spring break is one of the busiest times of the year for drunk driving arrests. According to data published on Time.com, drunk driving-related accidents increase by as much as 9.1 percent in spring break hot spots. To combat this, police aggressively use traffic stops and drunk driving checkpoints to catch drivers suspected of driving under the influence (DUI).
If you are charged with DUI in New Jersey during spring break, there are some important facts you need to know. First, New Jersey takes DUIs very seriously. For a first-time offense with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 to 0.10 percent, you can be sentenced to hundreds of dollars in fines and fees, a three-month license suspension, up to 30 days in jail and other penalties. For higher blood alcohol readings, the penalties range from seven months to one year loss of license and depending on the reading, you may be subjected to a discretionary or mandatory requirement of having an interlock device installed in your car for two years at your expense.
Second, there are several potential defenses to drunk driving charges under New Jersey law. While some of these defenses involve challenging the prosecution’s evidence of impairment, there are certain defenses you can assert even if you were clearly drunk at the time of your arrest. As a result, you should not assume that you will be found guilty in court, and you should not make any decisions about your case until you speak with an experienced New Jersey DUI lawyer.
Here are some additional facts that will be important for you to know:
1. DUI Checkpoints are Legal in New Jersey.
If you are from out of state, you may be unfamiliar with the concept of a DUI checkpoint. In New Jersey, the police use these checkpoints to catch drunk drivers in areas where there is likely to be a high concentration of inebriated drivers. These checkpoints are legal in New Jersey, and the police can stop you at a checkpoint without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.
2. New Jersey’s Implied Consent Law Applies to Everyone.
If you drive in New Jersey, you are subject to the state’s law of implied consent. This law states that, by driving on New Jersey’s public roads, you automatically consent to a BAC test in the event that you get pulled over on suspicion of DUI. If you refuse a BAC test, you can be charged with DUI refusal, and you can be convicted of a DUI refusal even if you are not ultimately convicted of DUI.
3. There are Critical Mistakes You Need to Avoid.
When facing a DUI charge in New Jersey, protecting your legal rights is as much about avoiding bad decisions as it is about making good ones. If you make mistakes like missing your arraignment (which could be scheduled within a few days of your arrest) or getting arrested for DUI again, you will make it much more difficult to avoid a harsh sentence at trial.
Speak With a New Jersey DUI Lawyer for Free
The defense attorneys at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. represent individuals facing DUI charges throughout New Jersey. If you have been charged with DUI, it is important that you speak with a skilled New Jersey DUI lawyer immediately. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, please call (877) 435-6371 or request an appointment online now.