You are out celebrating your big promotion with some friends, have a few drinks, and get into the car to go home for a nice slumber.
You’re king of the world, right? Not so fast. All of a sudden, you see police lights in the rear view mirror, and you are being pulled over for swerving. You are being arrested for DWI facing and possible conviction.
DUI and DWI are essentially the same: DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” and DWI means “driving while intoxicated.” There are two ways in which person can be convicted: either a per se violation or an observation violation. A per se violation is proven when an driver is subjected to a blood alcohol test and their blood alcohol level is found to be .08% or greater. On the other hand, an observational DUI arises through a police officer’s observations of a driver who is suspected of being intoxicated. Those observations usually of erratic driving, blood shot, glassy, or watery eyes, the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and/or the admission of consumption.
DWI is a very serious offense that can change your life. If convicted of a DWI, a person is subject to penalties such as
- Fines, fees and surcharges
- License suspension
- Ignition interlock device
- Jail time
- Community service
For those under the age of 21, it is illegal to consume alcohol in any amount. If you are drinking and driving and under the age of 21, you will need a thorough and aggressive attorney to represent you. When you have been arrested for operating a motor vehicle or boat while under the influence, and you are under 21 years of age, very serious penalties can follow. In New Jersey, anyone arrested for DWI who is under 21 and has a blood alcohol content of .01% or higher may be convicted of underage DUI. Penalties for an underage DUI include
- Minimum 30-day/maximum 90-day license suspension;
- Mandatory fines and penalties;
- Minimum 15 hours/maximum 30 hours of community service; and
- Participation in a 12-hour alcohol education and highway safety program.
The Mark Law Firm represents clients throughout the state of New Jersey who have been arrested for DWI. We have the experience and skills to competently defend and advise you about your options.