There are a couple of factors that determine the severity of the charge against you. For one, the law considers the number of DWI offenses you’ve actually been convicted or plead guilty to. First offenses are not treated nearly as harshly as subsequent offenses and the penalties get much worse each time you break this law.


What happens when you are charged with DWI and how is the seriousness of the offense determined? There are two primary factors that determine how serious a specific DWI charge is:

A. Your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC)
B. The number of prior DWI offenses that you have been convicted of.

The two ways in which your BAC can be measured (by driving on the highways or roads of New Jersey you have automatically consented and have no right to refuse (legally) having your BAC measured. It can be measured through a Breathalyzer (which is the most common method) or through a blood draw. The Breathalyzer measures the level of alcohol that is the actual percentage of alcohol in your blood stream and is made at the time of your arrest. Any reading under 0.8% is technically legal.

If your blood alcohol is in at .08% up to .10%, that is where your troubles begin. This is what you are now facing:

1. Fines of $250- $400
2. Jail time of up to 30 days
3. Loss of driver’s license for three months
4. IDRC for 12-48 hours
5. Interlock device for 6 months to 1 year

Hiring a good lawyer can help you avoid these consequences.

Another consequence of a DWI conviction is the affect on your automobile insurance. Automobile insurance, as you probably know is required by law, but insurance companies are in business to make money, and the rate you pay for car insurance is based on risk, risk that you will be involved in accidents which cause property damage or personal injuries. A DWI conviction means that you will be considered a high risk and your insurance premiums will be higher as a result.

So let’s make an educated guess if you are convicted of just a first DWI offense, as I have just described. First there is that fine of somewhere between $250.00 and $400.00. Next there is jail time, up to 30 days. Third, loss of driver’s license for three months. There is no exception. Some states have a provisional drivers license to allow you to go to and from work only while your license is suspended. New Jersey does not have a provisional license. If losing your driver's license means you will lose your job, a conviction for DWI will cost you your job.

Fourth there is the I Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, where you have anywhere from 12 to 48 hours of special treatment, and you will have to call and check to see whether they accept credit cards or not for their fees. If you want more information the State of New Jersey provides it for you at

Fifth, there is the Interlock Device that you can use to check your breath for six months to one year for which you must pay to install, maintain and remove.

Now perhaps you are wondering if you BAC is higher than .10% what can you expect, well here it is short and not too sweet of it:

Mandatory fines and penalties (That means the Judge has no choice if you are found guilty)

Alcohol or drug related DUI with BAC of 0.10% or greater

License loss Fines, fees & surcharges Prison term Community service, IDRC & Interlock

7 months–1 year $300–$500 fine

$230 IDRC* fee

$100 to drunk driving fund

$100 to AERF*

$1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge

$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund Up to 30 days 12–48 hours IDRC*

BAC 0.15% or greater: ignition interlock device during license suspension and 6 months - 1 year following restoration.

But just in case you are past your first offense, here are some highlights for subsequent offenses that you can expect if convicted:

econd Offense

  • A fine of $500-$1000
  • Imprisonment of at least 48 consecutive hours, and up to 90 days
  • Two-year license suspension
  • 48 consecutive hours detainment in a regional IDRC at a charge of $100 a day
  • 30 days Community Service
  • $200 surcharge to be deposited in a drunk driving enforcement fund
  • An insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years
  • A Motor Vehicle Commission restoration fee of $100
  • An Intoxicated Driving Program fee of $100
  • A Violent Crimes Compensation Fund fee of $50
  • A Safe and Secure Community Program fee of $75

Third Offense

  • A fine of $1,000
  • Imprisonment of 180 days
  • 10-year license suspension
  • Detainment in an in-patient alcoholism treatment program
  • Requirements to be set by IDRC
  • A fee to be paid to IDRC
  • $200 surcharge to be deposited in a drunk driving enforcement fund
  • An insurance surcharge of $1,500 a year for three years
  • A Motor Vehicle Commission restoration fee of $100
  • An Intoxicated Driving Program fee of $100
  • A Violent Crimes Compensation Fund fee of $50
  • A Safe and Secure Community Program fee of $75

Now I must admit, that looks like a pretty grim and expensive picture, and I have not even factored in the other effects these convictions can have on your relationships, employment, potential not to obtain better employment, etc.

I don’t know you so I cannot tell you the full consequences you may suffer, but I can tell you this, our law firm knows how to fight DWI charges, so you do not have to go it alone.

Our firm knows how to attack DWI charges, so we make the prosecution prove their case, and if they cannot prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, they cannot win a conviction.

We have some pretty powerful weapons that we can use in your defense (depending on your specific situation and the charges against you), some of our weapons include:

1. The Alcotest is the new standard in New Jersey DWI. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that breath tests conducted by the Alcotest 7110 are reliable. This fully automated test has replaced Breathalyzer across most of the State for determining BAC levels.

The same Court ruled that : The results of the Alcotest will be admissible in Court as long as the police follow the safeguards outlined in the Court’s 132 page opinion.

These safeguards can be used to help your case. If a police officer did not follow the Court’s safeguards, the test may be excluded.

2. A Breathalyzer Is An ESTIMATION and NOT A READING of Your BAC!

3. Breathalyzer Calculations May Make FALSE Assumptions about You!

4. Challenge the ground for stopping the motor vehicle. (Fruit of the poisonous tree is inadmissible).

5. Unconstitutional DWI check point

6. Challenge the 20 min observation period.

7. Challenge the field sobriety test

8. Attack the breath test reading itself

9. Have charge downgraded b/c prosecutor can’t prove the case

10. Get full and complete discovery

11. Did the officer have probable cause to stop a vehicle

12. Refuse to take ROADSIDE breath test (but not at the station, if you have been arrested).

This is just a small sample of the ways that we can challenge your DWI charge. Our firm will fight aggressively for you, utilizing all the latest techniques, the law and the facts and circumstances of your case.

By retaining our firm to represent you, you are making a relatively inexpensive investment to protect your future from a DWI conviction. We cannot legally offer to guarantee you specific results, but we can guarantee that you will be vigorously defended and we will fight hard for you.

Call our firm today for a free consultation! Remember you do not have to go it alone.

Boyer & Vapnar, LLC
Attorneys at Law