A single allegation that you were driving while intoxicated could have a tremendously negative impact on your life. Just one conviction could lead to fines, probation, and license suspension. Subsequent or severe offenses might lead to you spending time in jail.

If you were recently pulled over and ticketed for drunk driving, you should strongly consider speaking with a Hackensack DUI lawyer about your legal options. With guidance from a defense attorney who knows how to handle these unique cases, you could have much better chances of minimizing the sanctions you may face and preserving your future freedom.

What Qualifies as “Drunk Driving” in Hackensack?

According to New Jersey Revised Statutes §39:4-50, a person is guilty of the offense of driving while intoxicated if they operate a motor vehicle while their motor skills, physiological awareness, and/or cognitive function is impaired by intoxicating substances. Someone with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater is considered legally intoxicated under this section of state law, regardless of whether they are significantly impaired by that amount of alcohol.

Importantly, the operation of a motor vehicle in this context does not necessarily have to involve actual physical movement of a vehicle. The driver can be parked and still found guilty. As long as the person charged has actual physical control of a vehicle—generally meaning they are in the driver’s seat with the engine running—and takes an overt action intended to make the vehicle move, they have established an intent to drive and could be charged with DUI if they are intoxicated or impaired. A skilled local attorney could assist an individual who has been charged with a DUI in understanding the regulations according to their circumstances during a private consultation.

Penalties for DUI Convictions

The severity of penalties that could be applied to someone convicted of a first DUI offense can vary based on their measured blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of their arrest. Someone with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.1 percent may face:

  • A fine between $250 to $400
  • Detainment for a period of 12 to 48 hours
  • A maximum jail sentence of 30 days at the court’s discretion
  • Suspension of their driver’s license for three months
  • A mandatory ignition interlock device installation in their vehicle

Someone who had a BAC over 0.1 percent or was impaired by drugs may face an increased fine of $300 to $500 and a longer license suspension of up to six months.

Are there Harsher Penalties for Repeat DUI Convictions?

Repeat DUI offenses allow for even harsher penalties, as a lawyer in Hackensack could affirm. Penalties for second offenses in a span of ten years include $500 to $1000 in fines, 48 hours to 90 days of jail time, a one to two-year license suspension, and more. Third and subsequent DUI convictions allow for $1000 fines, 180-day jail sentences, eight-year license revocations, and lengthy community service mandates.

Get Help from an Experienced Hackensack DUI Attorney

An accusation of DUI is a serious matter, especially if you have faced charges for this kind of offense before. Fortunately, help is available from qualified local lawyers who could work relentlessly on your behalf to protect your best interests.

A conversation with a Hackensack DUI lawyer could put you on course for a favorable resolution to your case. Call today to set up a meeting.