Test Your Knowledge of DWI Law
- New Jersey prohibits a driver from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of at least:
ANSWER: D- The “per se” limit is .08% – lowered on January 20, 2004. For commercial drivers, the limit is .04%.
- If convicted of DWI in New Jersey, the Court must do what regarding the license of the Defendant.
- Suspend the license for a prescribed period of time.
B. Suspend the license, but can give permission to drive to and from work.
C. Suspend the license, but can grant permission to drive from dawn to dusk.
D. It is within the Court’s discretion to take the license for whatever period is deemed equitable – it depends on the Defendant’s circumstances.
ANSWER: A. The Court must suspend the license for the prescribed statutory period – there are no exceptions and no conditional licenses.
- A Conviction for DWI in New Jersey is a:
- A Disorderly Person’s Offense (Misdemeanor)
B. A “Low Grade” Felony
C. A Motor Vehicle Violation
D. A Violation of the Particular Towns’ Ordinance
ANSWER: C. A DWI conviction is classified as a motor vehicle violation.
- A DWI charge can be successfully defended by:
- Plea bargaining the charge down to a lower violation
B. By creative and zealous defense by a DWI defense lawyer
C. It is impossible to defend
D. Hiring someone who plays golf with the Judge or Prosceutor
ANSWER: B. The New Jersey DWI charge cannot be plea-bargained. There is a strict law against plea-bargaining. The only way to successfully defend against the charge is with effective defense advocacy.
- If a police officer wants to take breath samples, a motorist under arrest for DWI:
- Has a right to refuse.
B. Is legally obligated to give samples.
C. Has a right to speak with a lawyer first.
D. Has a right to remain silent.
ANSWER: B. Refusing to give breath samples is a separate chargeable offense in New Jersey.
- If a person permits another person to drive a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody or control while intoxicated:
- Nothing will happen – it is not illegal to allow someone else to operate intoxicated.
B. He will be subject to the same penalties as if he were operating.
C. He will be subject to the same penalties as if he were operating if the State can prove that he knew or reasonably should have known that the operator was intoxicated.
D. The police must issue the motorist a warning that will go on the person’s permanent driving file.
- If the breath (or blood) readings come in under the legal limit, or the readings are not admissible at trial:
- The Defendant cannot be convicted of DWI – he will be found not guilty.
B. The Court must suspend the proceedings.
C. The Defendant can still be convicted of DWI if the State can prove that his physical or mental abilities were adversely effected by the alcohol even absent the readings.
D. The Court will likely find the Defendant guilty of a lesser charge.
ANSWER: C. There are two prongs to New Jersey DWI Law; the Per Se prong (based on the breath reading), and the observation prong (“under the influence). A Defendant can be convicted under either prong.
- If a Defendant’s “Miranda Rights” were not read by the Police:
- Any statements made by the Defendant can be suppressed (excluded).
B. The DWI charge cannot legally be sustained, but other motor vehicle charges can stick.
C. The charges must be dismissed because the police violated the Defendant’s Constitutional rights.
D. The charges will be dismissed if the Defendant can show that he was unduly prejudiced.
ANSWER: A. It is commonly misperceived that failing to “Mirandize” a suspect (right to remain silent, etc.) will result in a dismissal on a technicality.
- A Prosecutor who believes his case it too weak to sustain a conviction should:
- Prosecute the case – he has to do his job to do just like the defense lawyer has his job to do.
B. Refuse to prosecute it by making an application to the Court to dismiss it or amend the charge to one that conforms to the evidence.
C. Ask the Judge what he should do.
D. Do whatever the cops tell him to do.
ANSWER: B. A Prosecutor holds a special role in the system – he is not an ordinary advocate. He has an ethical obligation to seek justice. If he believes that the evidence is insufficient to convict, he has a duty not to prosecute the case.
- A defense lawyer who knows his client is guilty should:
- Tell him to plead guilty – how can he possibly defend someone who he knows is guilty?
B. Tell the client that he is unable to represent him – he should get another lawyer.
C. Represent him within the bounds of ethics and the law.
D. Tell him that the only way he could win the case is if he took the stand and denied the charge.
ANSWER: C. A defense lawyer is duty-bound to represent a client, even if he knows he is guilty, within the very bounds of ethics and the law.
- DWI is an acronym for:
- Driving With Intoxicating Liquor
B. Driving With Intoxicating Levels
C. Driving When Inebriated
D. Driving While Intoxicated
- If a person is convicted of a DWI in New Jersey and has his license suspended:
- He can drive in New Jersey if he holds a valid license in another state.
B. He faces a mandatory jail term of at least 10 days (to 90) and additional license loss of 1 to 2 years if he is caught driving and convicted.
C. He faces a stiff fine and possible incarceration if he is driving while under the suspension.
D. He can drive as long as he is not legally drunk while he driving.
- In choosing a lawyer to defend a person charged with DWI:
- The lawyer with the best Yellow-Pages Ad is a good bet.
B. A committed and passionate lawyer whose practice is focused on defending DWI charges will afford the best possible defense.
C. The Lawyer who handled the Real Estate Closing should be able to handle the case – it is only a Municipal Court charge.
D. It is hopeless – the cases cannot be won anyway.