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The Consequences of License Suspension Following a DWI in New Jersey

The Consequences of License Suspension Following a DWI in New Jersey

Are you facing DWI in NJ and the possibility of a license suspension? A skilled defense lawyer can protect your rights through this challenging time. They can review your case details, represent you in court, and work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf. If your license has already been suspended, your attorney can help you navigate the aftermath of the suspension and work to restore your driving privileges as soon as possible.

DWI and Driver’s License Suspensions in New Jersey

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) can lead to the immediate suspension of your driver’s license in New Jersey. When a police officer suspects you of DWI, they usually conduct a breathalyzer test. If this test shows a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, the officer will charge you with DWI.

After charging you with DUI, the officer will take your driver’s license. This marks the beginning of your license suspension. It usually happens right at the scene where the officer pulled you over. The reason for this immediate action is public safety. The state aims to prevent potential harm to you and others on the road.

A license suspension for DWI is not a mere inconvenience. It can significantly affect your daily life. You cannot legally drive to work, school, or any other place without a license. It limits your freedom, complicates your daily routine, and puts your livelihood at risk.

How Long Is the License Suspension Period After a DWI?

In New Jersey, the duration of your license suspension after a DWI depends on your BAC at the time of your arrest and any previous DWI offenses. Let’s break down what you can expect for each scenario:

  • First offense (BAC 0.08 – 0.10): The court suspends your license until you install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. You must use this device for three months after getting your license back.
  • First offense (BAC 0.10 – 0.15): Your license is suspended until you install an IID, which you must use for seven months to one year after restoring your license.
  • First offense (BAC above 0.15): The court will suspend your license for four to six months, during which period you must have an IID on your primary vehicle. You must use the IID for nine to 15 months following the reinstatement of your license.
  • Second offense: If this is your second DWI, the license revocation period lasts for a minimum of one year and up to two years. You must install an IID during the suspension period and use it for two to four years after you regain your driving privileges.
  • Third or subsequent offense: For third and subsequent DWIs, you face a license suspension of eight years. The IID requirement lasts during the suspension and for two to four years afterward.

Impact on Insurance and Future Employment

A DWI and license suspension in New Jersey can significantly impact your insurance rates. First, the mandatory three-year auto insurance surcharge follows any New Jersey DWI conviction. This surcharge is a fixed amount, typically $1,000 per year for first- and second-time offenses and $1,500 per year for third and subsequent offenses. This can add $3,000 or as much as $4,500 to your overall insurance costs over three years. Additionally, your insurance provider might increase your premiums due to the heightened risk associated with a DWI on your record. This can lead to substantially higher insurance costs for many years.

The effects of a DWI can also be far-reaching when it comes to your employment. Though DUIs will not appear on a background check in New Jersey, they will appear on your driving record. If you apply for a job that involves driving, a DUI conviction could damage your prospects. If your current employer learns of your DUI, you could also face job loss or a demotion. This mark on your driving record could limit your career options and advancement opportunities, affecting your professional life for years to come.

Preparing for Your License Reinstatement

To get your license reinstated after a DWI in New Jersey, you must:

  • Complete the suspension period: You must wait until your entire license suspension period ends. Do not attempt to drive until you have legally regained your license.
  • Fulfill court requirements: Ensure you have completed all requirements set by the court. This might include attending an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program or paying fines.
  • Install an ignition interlock device (IID): If the court requires an IID, install it in your vehicle. You must use it for the specified period, which could continue even after you get your license back.
  • Pay the restoration fee: You must pay a restoration fee to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) before your license can be reinstated.

How a New Jersey DWI Lawyer Can Fight License Revocation

If you are facing possible license suspension or your license has already been suspended, a New Jersey DWI lawyer will work to prepare an effective defense to avoid a conviction and the resulting penalties. Your attorney will:

  • Review the details of your DWI arrest
  • Analyze the breathalyzer test results
  • Investigate any procedural errors in your case
  • Challenge the legality of the traffic stop
  • Examine field sobriety test administration
  • Question the accuracy of BAC testing
  • Represent you in court hearings
  • Handle license suspension appeals on your behalf
  • Prepare you for IDRC requirements
  • Coordinate the installation of an IID on your vehicle
  • Help you fulfill community service obligations
  • Advise you on how to comply with court orders
  • Assist you with the process of license reinstatement

Contact a DWI Defense Attorney Now

Are you struggling with the possibility or consequences of a DWI license suspension in New Jersey? Or do you need help preparing for a license restoration? The Law Office of Steven Ellman can help. Contact us now for a free consultation.

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The Consequences of License Suspension Following a DWI in New Jersey