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Common DWI/DUI Myths and Misconceptions 

William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC Aug. 25, 2022

man driving car under the influence of alcoholIn the state of New Jersey, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense that is often punished severely. A defendant convicted of DWI/DUI may face far-reaching penalties and other life-changing consequences. However, there are several misconceptions and false assumptions surrounding DWI cases in the Garden State. Therefore, when facing DWI charges, getting experienced guidance and representation is imperative to ensure that you do not end up in the worst possible situation. 

William Quirk is committed to handling criminal cases and defending clients in their DWI charges. As a highly-skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney, he can investigate every detail of your case thoroughly and outline a strong defense strategy to help fight your accusations. Also, William Quirk will dispute the allegations against you with substantial evidence and help keep your record clean. William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC is proud to serve clients across Hackensack, Paterson, and Clifton, New Jersey, and the West New York areas. 

DWI Charges in New Jersey  

Under New Jersey laws, a person may be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) for operating a motor vehicle: 

  • With a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more for adults or 0.01% or more for persons below 21 years 

  • While under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating liquors, hallucinogens, narcotics, or habit-producing drugs 

In addition, a vehicle owner may be facing DWI charges for allowing someone with a BAC of at least 0.08% to operate the owner's car. A drunk driving conviction in New Jersey could potentially result in devastating penalties, including massive fines, imprisonment, community service, probation, license suspension or revocation, and other social ramifications. 

Common Myths About DWI Charges  

There are lots of collective popular notions and misinformation surrounding New Jersey DWI charges. Many drivers are ignorant of the facts, leading them to end up in the worst-case scenario after a DUI arrest. However, knowing what to expect and being able to differentiate facts from fiction can make it easier to manage your drunk driving case.  

Here are some common myths about driving while intoxicated in New Jersey with a brief explanation of why they are not true: 

Myth #1: A DWI charge isn't worth fighting. 

This is a common misconception. Fighting your drunk driving charges in New Jersey is absolutely worthwhile. A first drunk driving conviction could possibly result in fines, jail time, driver's license suspension, and other severe implications. With your driving privileges and future at risk, it makes much sense to fight your DWI charges. 

Myth #2: The charge is so common that it isn't serious. 

This is false. A DWI charge is very serious and should never be taken lightly. In addition to incarceration, fines, and license suspension, a drunk driving conviction could also result in other life-altering consequences. These include high auto insurance premiums, difficulties in securing public benefits, loans, housing, future employment, educational scholarships, and professional opportunities.  A single DWI charge can cause problems for people who are not residents or citizens of the United States. Undocumented persons can be placed into removal proceedings at immigration court and persons with valid visas can have them cancelled because of a DWI.

Myth #3: I can't be arrested for DWI because of marijuana.

The State of New Jersey legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 in 2021. This legalization did not change the laws regarding DWI and marijuana. If you are under the influence of marijuana and you drive a vehicle, you can and will be prosecuted under the DWI laws of the State if police believe you are impaired and cannot operate your vehicle safely. Recently, a judge in the State of New Jersey held special hearings regarding special police training called Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) and suggested to the Supreme Court that they are a reliable way of determining whether someone is intoxicated. The Supreme Court will rule on this issue soon. This will impact DWI cases for those who ingest marijuana and drive.

Myth #4: When arrested for a DWI, I don't have to submit to breath, urine or blood tests. 

Unlike field sobriety tests, chemical tests – including urine, blood, or breath tests – are mandatory. According to New Jersey's "implied consent" law, any individual who operates a car in the state is deemed to have given consent to chemical testing. Refusing a lawfully requested breath or blood test results in a separate charge for refusing to take the test. The consequences of a refusal charge include license revocation and other penalties. 

Myth #5: A DWI will fall off my record in seven years. 

This is not true. In the state of New Jersey, DUI is classified as a traffic offense. Hence, it cannot be expunged. The DWI will stay on your driving record permanently. This is why fighting your drunk driving charges is important. 

Don't Risk Your Future. Call Now.  

Facing DWI allegations can be devastating and jeopardize your freedom, quality of life, personal reputation, employment, eligibility for government assistance, and future opportunities. You may increase your risks of suffering the maximum punishment by defending your drunk driving charges without experienced guidance. Therefore, when arrested and charged with drunk driving, you need to retain an aggressive criminal defense attorney for detailed guidance and to help build your defense. 

William Quirk has devoted his career to providing experienced legal services and protecting individuals charged with drunk driving from the worst possible punishment. As your legal counsel, he will fight vigorously to uphold your legal rights, protect your driving privileges, and attempt to establish your innocence. Using his extensive knowledge, he will help you navigate the New Jersey criminal justice system and improve your chances of getting the most favorable outcome. 

Don't face your drunk driving charges alone. Contact William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC today to schedule a simple case assessment with a knowledgeable DWI/DUI defense lawyer. William Quirk will offer you the reliable advocacy and skilled representation you need to fight your DWI charges. The firm is proud to serve clients across Hackensack, Paterson, and Clifton, New Jersey, and the West New York areas.