A single traffic infraction can have significant implications in your daily life, especially if you incur a substantial fine. If a traffic stop leads to criminal charges, such as suspected driving while impaired (DWI), you might spend some time in a county jail or have your driver’s license suspended. If a New Jersey court categorizes you as a repeat offender, penalties for conviction are severe.
If you have taken a chemical test and registered over the legal blood alcohol content limit for operating a motor vehicle, you will most likely face DWI charges in court. This may also be the case if a police officer determines that your behavior during a traffic stop suggests that you are drunk. Either way, if it’s not the first time you have been in such circumstances, you will have a lot at stake, including, perhaps, your freedom.
Ignition interlock devices
One of the repercussions you might face for repeat DWI charges is having to install an interlock ignition system in your vehicle. This makes it impossible to start your car unless you test negative for alcohol on the breath test device. You might even have to repeat the test at various interims while traveling. The court can order the installation of an interlock system at its own discretion.
It is not uncommon for judges to do this, especially if you have incurred a conviction for DWI within the past 10 years of your recent arrest. If there was a child in your car when you were pulled over, this might also compel a judge to order the installation of an interlock ignition device.
The higher your BAC, the more severe penalties might be
If your BAC registered high, such as twice the legal limit or more, the judge hearing your case may issue a stiffer punishment if you are convicted. The more DWI convictions you have on your record, the more severe your penalties might be.
Repeat DWI offenders could face jail time
It would not be uncommon for a judge to sentence you to time in jail if you have been convicted multiple times on DWI charges. How long your jail sentence is, as well as whether there are additional penalties, such as community service obligations, entering a rehabilitation program, paying a fine, losing your license, etc., is up to the judge to decide.
Whether it is your first offense or not, you are entitled to present a defense or to challenge evidence, if you believe a personal rights violation has occurred in your case.