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Out-of-State Drivers Charged with DWI in New Jersey | Monmouth County

In this computer age, your driving record follows you all around the United States and even into some foreign countries. Nearly every state recognizes convictions for traffic violations in other jurisdictions, and this can lead to complications.

If you are convicted of careless driving, reckless driving, or drunk driving in New Jersey, the prosecutor in your home state may treat the offense as if it occurred at home. That means if you previously had a similar violation back home, the New Jersey violation could be prosecuted as a “second offense” there. This practice, raising the level of a charge in one state due to a conviction in another state, is called “enhancement.”

If you or a family member is an out-of-state driver charged with DWI or any other serious motor vehicle violation in New Jersey, you’re going to need a lawyer. Not just any lawyer, but one of the experienced defense attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC. With more than 80 years of combined legal experience, we defend our clients aggressively to ensure that they obtain all the protections that New Jersey law provides.

What is the Interstate Driver License Compact?

The Interstate Driver License Compact (IDLC) is an interstate agreement that permits states to exchange information about your driving record and traffic violations. Under the Compact, a traffic violation that occurs in New Jersey can be treated by your home state as if it had happened in your home state. Our defense lawyers defend clients throughout New Jersey, including Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties.

Can my driver’s license to be suspended for an out-of-state violation?

Most states have adopted the IDLC. If an out-of-state driver is convicted in New Jersey of a violation that would cause their license to be suspended back home, then the home state can suspend their license and possibly impose jail time or more hefty fines.

Skilled New Jersey Lawyers Outline DWI Laws for Out-of-State Drivers

  • You are DWI in New Jersey if you operate a motor vehicle when your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or more
  • Even if your BAC is less than 0.08 percent you will be charged with DWI if you consumed any amount of alcohol that impairs your driving
  • If you are under age 21 you will be charged if you drive with any alcohol in your system at all—even as little as 0.01 percent
  • You can be charged with DWI for driving under the influence of illegal drugs. The violation will be treated the same as driving with a BAC of 0.10 percent
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re impaired by a prescription drug. What matters is that the drug impaired your driving
  • Having an open container of an alcoholic beverage in your car is presumptive evidence of drinking while driving
  • You may be required to submit to a breath test or field sobriety tests

The Penalties for DWI violations in Monmouth County, Ocean County, and Middlesex County are Severe

If convicted, the drunk driving penalties for a first offense are:

  • $250 to $400 fine
  • Imprisonment for up to 30 days
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for three months
  • Attendance at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) for at least six hours a day for two consecutive days
  • $1,000 per year in Division of Motor Vehicles for three years

If your BAC was 0.10 percent or higher, two of the penalties increase:

  • The fine becomes $300 to $500
  • The driver’s license suspension becomes seven to 12 months

If your BAC was 0.15 percent or higher the judge can also order an ignition interlock device installed on your car for up to three years after license restoration. The device costs $75 to $100 per month, plus installation fee.

For a second offense:

  • $500 to $1,000 fine
  • Imprisonment for up to 90 days
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for two years
  • Detainment for 48 hours in an IDRC
  • $1,000 per year in Division of Motor Vehicles for three years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for up to 3 years after license restoration

For a third Offense:

  • $1,000 fine
  • Imprisonment for 180 days
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for 10 years
  • Detainment in an in-patient alcoholism treatment program
  • A fee paid to the IDRC, the amount set by the court
  • $1,500 per year in Division of Motor Vehicles for three years
  • surcharge, for 3 years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for a period of 1 year to 3 years after license restoration

And Those Aren’t the Only DWI Penalties

Every New Jersey DWI conviction carries additional penalties:

  • $100 contribution to the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund
  • $100 Intoxicated Driving Program fee
  • $50 Violent Crimes Compensation Fund fee
  • $75 Safe and Secure Community Program fee
  • $100 restoration fee to get your license back when the suspension ends

Also, in New Jersey fines, prison terms and license suspensions are increased when a violation occurs in a school zone or at a school crossing. For more information, visit our DWI FAQs page and contact an attorney at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza right away.

What if I’m caught driving while my out-of-state license is suspended?

Under the IDLC your right to drive will be suspended in New Jersey as well. The penalty for driving with a suspended license in New Jersey is:

  • $500 fine
  • 10 to 90 days imprisonment
  • 1 to 2 years added license suspension
  • Revocation of motor vehicle registration

In addition, if you are involved in an accident while your license is suspended for DWI, and someone is hurt, a 45-day jail sentence is mandatory.

What Should an Out-Of-State Driver Do If Charged With a Serious Motor Vehicle Violation in New Jersey?

The most important thing to do, if charged with any serious motor vehicle violation, is to seek professional legal help immediately. Your problems won’t go away simply be leaving New Jersey. Above all, don’t try to defend yourself in a New Jersey courtroom. The State’s laws are complex, and the penalties severe. In just about every case “going it alone” spells failure. Failure can cost you dearly, not only jail time and a criminal record, but thousands of dollars in lost income, fines, surcharges and fees.

The experienced lawyers at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC are there for you. From our Hazlet, East Brunswick and Bayshore Area offices, we serve clients in and around Hazlet, Middletown, Keyport, Union Beach, Holmdel, Red Bank, Monroe, Rumson, Asbury Park, Highlands, Atlantic Highlands, Leonardo, Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach.

Call today at 888-657-8883 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out a contact form online.

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