What is BAC and How to Win a DWI / DUI in New Jersey
A DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) or DUI (Driving While Under the
Influence) charge in NJ is proven by your blood alcohol concentration
(BAC). Your BAC can be tested and determined with a simple Blood
Test,  Breathalyzer or Alcotest in NJ to charge you with a DWI.

In New Jersey, a person with a BAC of 0.08% or greater who operates a motor vehicle or a
boat is considered to be driving under the influence (DUI).   Being convicted of a DUI or DWI
is a serious offense, carrying heavy penalties including:   Fines, fees, surcharges, Jail
time and Community service.

Each persons body absorbs alcohol at a different level and the rate of absorption varies even
in the same individual at different times of the day.  (example most peoples bodies will absorb
alcohol quicker in the mid day and much slower in the late night hours)  Generally, the average
rate of “burn off ” or elimination of alcohol is .015 in an hour.  The burn rate is much lower than
most people think, thus the reason why many people are surprised when a police officer asks
them to step out of the car for the DWI tests.  
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For NJ DWI charges the difference between Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and Breath Alcohol   
Concentration (BrAC) is important. Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) is utilized most often by   
NJ Police to extrapolate or estimate an individual's Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). The best
and most accurate way to determine Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), is through a blood
sample. Since it is very difficult to provide medical personnel to obtain this sample in field
situations (while the officer is determining if an individual is Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)), breath testing devices are utilized to determine Breath
Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) which typically can be used to evaluate Blood Alcohol
Content (BAC). For a DWI in NJ Breath testing devices rely on an a ratio that equates the parts of
alcohol found in the breath to the correlating amount of alcohol found in blood.  A Blood Alcohol
Content (BAC) of 0.20% means that there is 1 gram of alcohol per every 500 grams of blood.  The
courts of all 50 states have determined that both the Breathalyzer machines and Alcotest
machines are scientifically accurate in determining BAC levels.  The only way to prove the
BAC level taken by the police is inaccurate is by:
1) Proving a BAC test taken within a short period of time after being released by the police
has a substantially different result.
2) Proving that the police operated the DWI testing machinery incorrectly
3) Proving that the machine used by the police was not operating properly
4) Proving  the machine used to test was operating improperly
5) Proving the machine used was not properly certified
6) Proving the operator of the machine was not properly licensed or had an expired license




















































Mandatory fines and penalties 1st Offense NJ DWI N.J.S.A. 39:4-50

Alcohol or drug related DUI with BAC of 0.10% or greater
License loss 7 to 12 months
Jail up to 30 days
Fine $300–$500
$230 IDRC* fee
$100 to drunk driving fund and $100 to AERF*
$1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge
$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund Up to 30 days 12–48 hours IDRC*
If BAC is over .15% ignition interlock device to be installed for 6 months to 1 year once drivers license is
restored.

Alcohol or drug related DUI or DWI with BAC greater than 0.08% but less than 0.10%
License Loss: 3 months
Jail: Up to 30 days
$250–$400 fine
$230 IDRC* fee
$100 to drunk driving fund and $100 to AERF*
$1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge
$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund Up to 30 days 12–48 hours IDRC*


Repeated DUI convictions

2nd Offense within 10 years of 1st Offense
Offense License loss Fines, fees & surcharges Prison term Community service requirement
2nd offense within 10 years 2 years $500–$1,000 fine
$280 IDRC* fee
$100 to drunk driving fund and $100 to AERF*
$1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge
$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund 48 hours–
2 to 90 days in Jail
Community Service for 30 days
12–48 hours IDRC*
Ignition Interlock device for 1 to 3 years once drivers license is restored

3rd offense within 10 years of 2nd offense
10 years loss of license
180 Days in Jail (up to 90 may be spend with court approval in an inpatient alcohol program)
$1,000 fine
$280 IDRC* fee
$100 to drunk driving fund
$100 to AERF*
$1,500/year (for 3 years) surcharge
$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund
Jail for 180 days up to 90 days (can reduced if allowed by court to be served in an approved alcohol
inpatient program)
12–48 hours IDRC*

Related NJ DWI / DUI Offenses

Driving or riding with an open container
Offense Fines    Community service
1st   $200              10 Days
2nd   $250              10 Days


Driving with a Suspended License Due to a DWI or DUI (39:3-40)
License loss                                Fines or surcharges                                       Prison term
Additional 1–2 years           $500 fine $250/year (for 3 years) surcharge              10–90 days


Driving while possessing drugs (39:4-49.1)
License loss           Fines or surcharges
2 years                   Minimum $50 fine


Notes:
*IDRC - Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
*AERF - Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund
Underage drinking may cause a six-month delay in getting a license
Alcohol and drug-related offenses require completion of an alcohol screening and evaluation program

Failure to pay a DWI or DUI surcharges will result in Indefinite suspension of driving privileges, a civil action filed
in State Superior Court by MVC including securing a lien against your property, garnishing your wages or other
similar action.
How Much You Can Drink Legally
without getting a DWI in NJ is
based on the following factors:
Your Body Weight
The amount of alcohol consumed
The length of time drinking
The quantity and quality of the
food eaten prior to or while  
drinking
Your sex (Women absorb alcohol
into the bloodstream faster and
metabolize it slower than men.
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HGN (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test)
NJ.  The HGN test uses a penlight or a
finger which is quickly waved across the
subject’s vision to see that both eyes
move in tandem, at about a one foot
distant – the driver is asked to follow the
light or finger with the eyes.   During the
HGN Test the police officer is looking
for four indicators of impairment: if the
eye cannot follow a moving object
smoothly, if jerking is distinct when the
eye is at maximum deviation, is the
driver following the instructions given to
hold his head straight without
movement, and if the angle of onset of
jerking of the eyeball, instead of
smoothly tracking, is within 45 degrees
of center.   If, between the two eyes,
four or more clues appear, the suspect
likely has a BAC of 0.10 or greater.  
Unfortunately only the police officer at
the scene can determine whether a
person has passed this test.
At the Law Office of H. Scott Aalsberg, all of our attorneys are experienced at winning NJ DUI and DWI
offense. Repeat: Winning DWI and DUI Cases.  Unlike some other firms we don't just plead our clients
guilty.  Each New Jersey DWI and DUI case is thoroughly evaluated and contested to get you the best
results possible.  Each attorney has a minimum of 20 years of experience doing just that.   Hiring the right
attorney is the best way of increasing your chances of winning your charge. The second most important way
of winning your case is giving your attorney enough time to prepare the case.  Many clients delay or
procrastinate in hiring a DWI or DUI attorney and this is the single biggest factor in getting the best result.  
The sooner your NJ DWI Lawyer gets started putting a defense together on your case the more time the
attorney has to find and prepare the proper defense for you.  You should hire your DWI lawyer within 48
hours of being arrested as the rules require the court to try or complete all DWI's within 60 days of the date
of the offense.  Waiting longer can jeopardize the result obtained in your case and the penalties for a DWI
are severe
If a Breath Test or Blood Test is not given the police may still prove intoxication and your BAC level with physical
tests.  In New Jersey the most commonly used tests to prove a DWI are: The walk and turn, The one legged stand,
Counting numbers or the alphabet, and the HGN Test.  All of our New Jersey DWI Lawyers know these tests inside
and out!
The 3 Most Commonly Used DWI Tests In New Jersey
Walk and Turn:  Most people assume
that this test is merely testing whether
the DWI suspect can walk heel to toe,
but the primary object is to determine
whether the DWI suspect can follow
instructions while performing a test.  
The eight areas which will be most
determinative of intoxication are
1) Did the DWI suspect start the test
prior to being told to
2) Did the DWI suspect keep arms at his
side as told to
3) Did the DWI suspect stop during the
test
4) Did the DWI suspect touch each heel
to toe within 1.5 inches
5) Did the DWI suspect at any point step
off the line
6) Did the DWI suspect use his arms for
balance
7) Did the DWI suspect perform the turn
as instructed and
8) Did the DWI suspect take the correct
amount of steps as requested.
One Legged Stand:  In this test
the DWI suspect must raise
either foot at least 6 inches
above the ground, keep his
arms at his sides, loot at his
raised foot, point his toes
forward, count up to 30 for up to
30 seconds in the fashion of
one thousand, one thousand
and one, one thousand and two
etc.  The police officer during
the DWI stop is looking for the
suspect to:
1) Sway
2) Raise his arms more than 6
inches from his body
3) Drop his foot or hops
4) Counts incorrectly
5) Starts prior to being told to
start.
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Fact:  If you got a Reckless
Driving Ticket with your DWI
Charge? You could face up to an
additional 60 days in Jail.  This is
just another reason not to delay
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Additional Possible Lifetime Penalties for a Conviction of a DWI in NJ:
Although the penalties imposed by a judge and the State of New Jersey can be severe
including jail, even for a first offense, these penalties are eventual served and go away and
only can become a distant memory over time.  But other penalties society imposes don't go
away and can last a lifetime, these penalties include:
  • 1.  The inability to rent a car (many car rental companies will rent a car after a long period of ineligibility such as 5 or 10 years if you only have only one past offense)
  • 2.  The inability to travel: Some countries including Canada bar entry to US Citizens convicted of DWI offenses to enter the country.
  • 3.  The inability to find work: Some employer have bans on hiring people convicted of DWI offenses.
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For Your NJ DWI Charge
DWI Field Sobriety Tests Can Be Attacked With Prior Diagnosed Medical Conditions!
H. Scott Aalsberg, Esq..