New Jersey courts take drunk driving charges very seriously. State law says a person with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). But if their BAC exceeds 0.10, the stakes get higher. Individuals can be charged with a High BAC DUI and face harsher penalties.
Do you need to fight High BAC DUI charges in Mercer County? If so, you need experienced legal help, and you need it now. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can explain your rights, investigate the circumstances of your arrest, and develop an effective defense strategy to reach the best outcome possible. Whether you are facing charges for a first-time or repeat DUI offense, the right lawyer can make all the difference in your case.
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we understand what you’re up against. Our attorneys are well versed in the laws, procedures, and nuances of the criminal court system in Mercer County. We will provide the guidance and representation you need to fight your DUI charge. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Mercer County High BAC DUI lawyer.
What is a High BAC for a DUI?
Under New Jersey law, it is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Alcohol dulls the senses, impairs reflex time, and affects driver judgment. The legal limit for intoxication is 0.08, which law enforcement officers can determine through testing at the scene of an accident or during a traffic stop. If you get behind the wheel with a BAC of 0.10 percent or higher, you can be charged with a High BAC DUI.
How is BAC Determined?
An individual’s BAC is measured by a breath test reading from a breathalyzer device. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test upon request, the police can take you into custody and require you to take a blood alcohol test to determine your BAC.
In addition to administering breath and blood tests, police officers can record observations about a driver’s behavior to determine their level of intoxication. These observations could include bloodshot eyes, a red face, slurred speech, or the smell of alcohol on the breath. Any of this evidence could be used as proof of intoxication in court.
Laws for High BAC in New Jersey
In 2019, New Jersey’s revised drunk driving law was enacted, requiring every motorist convicted of DUI to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle. Ignition interlock devices require drivers to pass portable breathalyzer tests before starting their cars.
First-time offenders with BACs below 0.15 percent must keep IIDs on their vehicle for three months to a year. They are still subject to license suspensions of four to six months upon conviction and must use IIDs for an additional nine to 15 months. Penalties increase considerably after each additional conviction.
Penalties and Consequences of a High BAC DUI
New Jersey prosecutors take a strict approach to DUI cases. A first-time High BAC DUI offense could lead to the following penalties:
- Up to 30 days in jail
- A suspended driver’s license for 7-12 months
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device during your driver’s license suspension and for 6-12 months after you get your license back
- A fine between $300 and $500
- A $100 fine that goes to the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund
- A restoration fee of $100 for the Motor Vehicle Commission
- A fee of $100 for the Intoxicated Driving Program
- A fee of $50 for the Violent Crimes Compensation Fund
- A fee of $75 for the Safe and Secure Community Program
- 12 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
A second-time or third-time conviction for a High BAC DUI carries more severe penalties, including up to $1,000 in fines, license suspensions that could last as long as eight years, and up to six months in jail. A High BAC DUI conviction can also have other consequences, such as increased auto insurance premiums, problems securing employment or housing, and other personal and professional setbacks.
Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty in New Jersey. You don’t need to navigate the court system alone. A High BAC DUI lawyer in Mercer County can mount a strong defense to protect your freedom, reputation, and livelihood.
Common Defenses for a High BAC DUI Case
The potential defenses available to you for a High BAC DUI will depend on the circumstances of the case. Possible defenses include:
- Illegal stops or search: One of the most common defenses for a high BAC DUI is that the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights by conducting an unlawful stop or search. This defense focuses on whether or not the police had the right to stop and detain you in the first place, as well as any issues regarding the collection of evidence.
- Faulty breathalyzer results: Breathalyzer test results are sometimes inaccurate due to mechanical or human error in administering the test. If this is the case, an experienced defense attorney can challenge the validity of the breathalyzer results and argue to exclude them from the evidence against you.
- Medical reasons for a high BAC: A medical condition or medication can sometimes result in a false positive on a breathalyzer test, giving a higher BAC reading than accurate. An attorney can investigate any health conditions or prescriptions that might have contributed to an elevated BAC.
- Insufficient evidence: The prosecution must provide compelling evidence to prove a DUI. If there is a lack of evidence, your defense lawyer could argue to have the charges dismissed.
High BAC DUIs are serious charges that can have damaging consequences. But with the help of a skilled Mercer County DUI Lawyer, you could have the charges against you reduced or even dismissed.
Talk to an Experienced Mercer County High BAC Lawyer Now
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we believe every person deserves a strong defense. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience handling DUI and DWI cases in New Jersey. Contact us today for a free case review with a Mercer County High BAC lawyer.