As drunk driving laws have gotten stricter, the likelihood that a New Jersey DWI / DUI defendant faces jail time has increased. The amount of jail time a NJ driving under the influence conviction carries depends on the charges and the number of prior drunk driving arrests within a 10-year span. However, an experienced New Jersey DWI / DUI attorney will defend each case with the goal of minimizing or eliminating jail time.

A first-time drinking and driving defendant with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 to under .10 percent faces up to 30 days in jail; however, the driver is unlikely to spend any time in jail unless the DWI / DUI incident involved an accident or injury. First-time drunk driving defendants with a BAC of .10 percent or greater also face up to 30 days in jail, but, again, are very unlikely to receive any sentence that includes jail time, unless there is accident or injury. Every situation, however, is different, and it is best to discuss your case with an experienced New Jersey DWI / DUI lawyer.

A second drunk driving conviction is punishable by 2 to 90 days in jail. In most second offense cases, if the sentence can be limited to the minimum 2 day jail term, the 2 days jail can be served concurrently, or at the same time, with the 48 hour period required at the Intoxicated Drivers’ Resource Center. This depends on what judge is sentencing the driver. The judge may determine based on the circumstances of the situation that more than 2 days jail is warranted. If so, the time will be spent in county jail or in several alternative situations, including house arrest or in-patient rehabilitation. See another page on our website “Sentencing Alternatives”.

A third DWI / DUI conviction will result in six months in jail. There is no parole, meaning the driver will have to serve 180 complete days. The 180 day term in a county jail can be reduced up to 90 days where the individual completes an approved in-patient rehabilitation program. Many rehab programs are expensive and do not last 90 days, and as a result, a driver may find it difficult to offset the 180 day jail term. The only way to avoid jail on a third offense is to undertake Post Conviction Relief for prior convictions. See our page on “Post Conviction Relief”.

New Jersey DWI law also allows for additional punishment for motorists who drive drunk on a license suspended from a prior DWI / DUI. A driver found guilty of driving under the influence on a suspended license will be sentenced to an additional 10 to 90 days in jail. If there is an accident or injury involved, the sentence will be greater.

The consequences of a driving under the influence conviction in New Jersey have grown increasingly harsher, so it’s critical to have a skilled New Jersey DWI defense attorney fighting for the accused driver’s rights. A New Jersey DWI lawyer who focuses on DWI / DUI defense will work hard to minimize or even eliminate jail time in your drinking and driving case.

Please call us at Levow DWI Law, 877-593-1717, to discuss your case. Call now for a free consultation.