New Jersey has some of the most stringent regulations in the country addressing drunk driving, referred to as driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI). These statutes include a prohibition on DWI plea negotiating for a lesser conviction.
Although DUI/DWI arrests are rather regular in this state, there is still a surprising amount of misinformation about them. Continue reading to learn the truth behind the top five DUI/DWI myths. You can consult with a New Jersey DUI DWI Lawyer if you have further questions concerning some of the most widespread misconceptions.
Myth #1: If a License Gets Suspended for a DWI Conviction, You Can Drive to Work with a Conditional License
Unlike popular belief, neither a conditional driver’s license nor a work license program can be found in New Jersey. Your license will be canceled, and also you will not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle if found guilty of DUI or refusing a chemical test. There are no exceptions to this rule.
In addition, if you are detected driving while your license is suspended, you will not only be subject to the standard penalties for a driving violation.
You will also be subject to additional “increased” penalties, including a license suspension for an extra one to two years, a significant additional fine, and a minimum jail sentence ranging from ten to ninety days. There are no exemptions to the mandatory jail time that must be served.
Myth #2: Breathalyzer Tests Are Fool-Proof
This is not the case at all. The results of breathalyzer tests are typically reliable, but there are exceptions to this rule. Occasionally, a law enforcement official will wrongly calibrate the breathalyzer or otherwise administer the test inaccurately. There are also instances where the breathalyzer equipment may be flawed or not functioning correctly. If we can demonstrate either of these tenets, the result that the breathalyzer produced should be ruled inadmissible as evidence in the courtroom.
Myth #3: You Don’t Have to Worry about DUI Unless Your Blood Alcohol Content is 0.08%
This hazardous and widespread misconception about DUI is completely untrue. If caught driving on New Jersey highways with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) lower than the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you can still be charged and convicted of DWI. It is sufficient for a charge of driving while intoxicated if the prosecution can establish, by evidence such as police observation, if any amount of alcohol or drugs in your system impacted your ability to drive.
Myth #4: You Can Use a Penny to Trick the Breathalyzer
Sucking a dirty penny won’t boost your chances of passing a chemical test, despite popular belief. Sadly, over time, this urban legend has been debunked. A device known as a breathalyzer collects and analyzes air from the lungs. It won’t help if you put a dime in your mouth! Before administering the test, law enforcement agents could also peek into your mouth.
Myth #5: You Can Fight a DUI/DWI Without an Attorney
You cannot successfully defend yourself against a charge of driving while intoxicated unless you have an expert attorney. A professional DUI attorney, William Proetta Criminal Law, will be there to guide you at each step of the process.
The Bottom Line
The defense against being charged with drunk driving is quite sophisticated, and there are serious consequences if you are not successful in defending yourself against the charge. It is not something that can be handled without the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney.