Driving While Intoxicated

Driving While Intoxicated – It Can Happen to Anyone

The laws for driving while intoxicated – either under the influence of alcohol or other substances, even prescription medications – are very strict in New Jersey. For many people, a DWI arrest is the first time they are arrested. It’s a serious offense and the penalties are no joke – it means you have an offense record, potentially resulting in loss of employment or purchasing or renting a home — and it will cost thousands of dollars in fines and fees if your license is revoked.

The first offense for a DWI conviction in New Jersey is potentially a 30 day jail sentence, fines up to $400, and having your license suspended for up to 13 months. One of the newer penalties introduced in 2013 is the Ignition Interlock, which requires you to blow into a Breathalyzer and if alcohol is detected, your car won’t start. Second and third offenses get even worse: they both include mandatory jail time. Try explaining that to your boss or family.

The right attorney can make all the difference

Working with an experienced DWI attorney is the most critical step in your defense against a DWI. Marc Leibman, Esq. of Kaufman, Semeraro & Leibman is a highly experienced attorney well versed in DWI cases. Mr. Leibman is the former municipal prosecutor for the borough of Leonia, New Jersey and is familiar with New Jersey’s rapidly changing DWI laws. As a specialist in DWI cases and also specializing in criminal law, he has had many cases successfully dismissed.

Should I or shouldn’t I take the test?

Every case is different. People often think if they refuse the sobriety test after being pulled over by a police officer, they are avoiding the penalties and potential arrest. However, it’s important to know that by refusing the sobriety test you are compromising your rights and the penalty for simply refusing to take the breathalyzer test is a suspension as if you were intoxicated.

“I always tell people to take the Breathalyzer test,” says Marc Leibman. “I have had cases where clients panicked and thought they were intoxicated and fled from the police only to incur serious felony charges. After being arrested they were tested for alcohol and found to be below the level required for DWI. In New Jersey, your license will be suspended – for seven months – if you are convicted of refusal to take the Breathalyzer test. Laws in New Jersey are frequently changing and knowing the legislation up to the minute is part of being well-prepared if a DWI conviction happens. For example, New Jersey is currently considering amendments to the DWI Law to permit Ignition Interlock instead of long driver’s license suspensions. This is a smart move. It will protect the public, save lives and benefit the families of people who just made a mistake.”

For more information about DWI law at Kaufman, Semeraro & Leibman and to directly contact Marc Leibman, call (201) 947-8855 or mleibman@northjerseyattorneys.com

Kaufman, Semeraro and Leibman, LLP