New Jersey DWI Law – N.J.S.A 39:4-50

N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 governs New Jersey’s DWI laws. The penalties for DWI in New Jersey can vary greatly depending on whether you are facing first offense DWI, second offense DWI, or third offense DWI. The statute prohibits any person from operating a motor vehicle while possessing a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. A person is also forbidden from operating a vehicle under the influence of illicit drugs. If the person operating the motor vehicle is underage, then the state enforces a Zero Tolerance Policy that prohibits anyone under twenty-one (21) years of age from operating a vehicle with a BAC of .02 or greater.

In order to prove a DWI, the prosecuting attorney must establish 1.) that the suspect actually operated the vehicle, and 2.) that the suspect was indeed intoxicated at the time of the field sobriety or breath test..

N.J.S.A 39:4-50 tells us that the element of operation is established only if there is actual operation or if it is clear that the offender exhibits: 1.) physical control over the vehicle, 2.) the ability to operate the vehicle, and 3.) an intent to operate the vehicle (e.g. keys in the ignition with intention to move vehicle).

Intoxication is usually established by way of a breath sample (Breathalyzer Test) but can also be proven through blood and urine analysis. Where scientific evidence of this nature is lacking, a DWI or DUI can be proven through Field Sobriety Testing for alcohol intoxication or Drug Recognition Testing for driving “under the influence” of drugs. To learn more, contact our office today for a free consultation with an experienced Woodbridge NJ DWI lawyer who can answer your questions and address your concerns.