New Jersey law does not classify driving while intoxicated (DWI) as a criminal offense. It is a traffic offense only, but still an extremely serious charge with significant potential effects. DWI is a motor vehicle offense in New Jersey that can lead to jail time, fines, and other penalties. Driver’s license suspension is a fairly well-known consequence of a DWI conviction, but that is not the only license it could affect. Other licenses could be subject to suspension, or even revocation. If you are facing DWI charges, a New Jersey DWI defense attorney with knowledge of the law can help you understand your rights and options. Read on to learn more about how DWI can affect different licenses.
Suspension of one’s driver’s license is one of the main penalties for a DWI conviction. The duration of the suspension depends on the number of prior convictions and the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC):
– First offense, with BAC of at least 0.08 percent but lower than 0.15 percent: As long as it takes for the person to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle
– First offense, with BAC of 0.15 percent or higher: Four months to six months
– First offense involving driving “under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug”: Seven months to one year
– Second offense within ten years of the first offense: One to two years
– Third or subsequent offense within ten years of the previous offense: Eight years
Commercial Driver’s License
A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to operate many large vehicles, such as semi-trailers. A DWI conviction can result in a longer period of suspension or permanent loss of a CDL, which amounts to the loss of one’s livelihood.
– First offense: One-year CDL suspension
– Second offense: Permanent revocation of CDL
While the state government handles driver’s licenses in New Jersey, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) deals with pilot’s licenses nationwide. Operating an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a misdemeanor criminal offense under New Jersey law. The FAA has the authority to suspend a pilot’s license for up to a year for a DWI conviction or revoke it altogether for a subsequent conviction.
A DWI conviction could result in the suspension or revocation of some professional licenses in New Jersey. Most state agencies that handle professional licensing require disclosure of all past convictions when applying for a license. Some will only impose professional discipline, including license suspension, for criminal offenses. Others include motor vehicle offenses like DWI. The New Jersey Board of Nursing, for example, treats DWI very seriously.
New Jersey does not require a license to operate non-commercial boats. A conviction for operating a watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, however, can result in the loss of boating privileges:
– First offense, with BAC of at least 0.08 percent but lower than 0.10 percent: Three months
– First offense, with BAC of 0.10 percent or higher: Seven months to one year
– Second offense: Two years
– Third or subsequent offense: Ten years
DWI is a serious offense under New Jersey law. It can have major impacts on your life that extend far beyond the suspension of your legal ability to drive. You need a knowledgeable and experienced DWI attorney to advocate for your rights and present the best possible defense for your case. Evan Levow has dedicated his law practice to representing DWI defendants. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with a member of our team, please contact us today online or at (877) 593-1717.