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  • By: Kevin Leckerman, Esq.
  • Published: April 1, 2011
A man sitting in the driver's seat of a truck - Leckerman Law, LLC

The State of New Jersey has strict penalties for drivers convicted for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Those penalties include fines, jail time, community service, suspension of a driver’s license, the impounding of your vehicle and much more. Moreover, the penalties are harsher for a person convicted of a DWI in New Jersey with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Conviction of a DWI for a first time offender results in the loss of the CDL for one year. Conviction of a DWI for a second time offender results in the loss of the CDL for life. There is a catch here; you can apply for a CDL reinstatement after the license has been out of your possession for at least ten years.

NJ DWI Laws For Proving A Violation

The State of New Jersey must prove that the individual in question was operating a motor vehicle and that the individual was under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic, hallucinogen, or habit producing drug.

To prove operation of the vehicle, the state must show that the person in question was in control of the vehicle, showed a present intention to cause the vehicle to move, took some action to put the vehicle in motion or evidenced possibility of putting the vehicle in motion.

Then, the prosecutor must prove one of the following:

  • The vehicle operator had a BAC of .08 percent or higher as determined using a breath testing machine, such as the Alcotest® MKIII-C, or blood test;
  • The vehicle operator was under the influence of alcohol as evidenced by his or her driving, the opinion of the police officer on scene, and performance of psycho-physical tests; or
  • The vehicle operator was under the influence based on the results of blood or urine tests, tests from a Drug Recognition Expert, driving, performance during psycho-physical test, and opinion of the police officer on the scene.

Penalties for New Jersey Commercial Driver DWI

A first-time offender of

A second-time offender of New Jersey’s commercial DWI laws will see the CDL license revoked for that person’s lifetime and personal driver’s license suspended for two years. After ten years of not possessing a CDL, the offender can apply for the license to be reinstated but it is not guaranteed that the license will be reinstated. Anyone convicted of breaking the laws of driving while intoxicated in New Jersey, especially those with a CDL, must attend an IDRC (Intoxicated Driver Resource Center) for testing and education before the CDL or personal license is reinstated.

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