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DWI conviction in NJ - BAC over 0.16; alternatives to losing license and/or possibility to appeal license loss?

Princeton, NJ |

Just wondering if you are convicted of a DWI with a BAC over 0.16 is there a way to keep your license? Such as Interlock Ignition for a set amount of time? I'm aware NJ doesn't have any conditional licenses [work license, etc] - but how does one GET to meeting AND pay fines without being able to get to work that's ~30minutes away? (I understand, you must find a way, but merely asking a hypothetical question... Also; should you lose your license - any way to APPEAL the loss to the DMV given certain circumstances that provide a 'NEED' for the privilege of driving to be restored?

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Attorney answers 5


The only way to avoid loosing your license is to fight the charges. There is simply no other option. I agree that the sentence is the equivalent of a jail sentence (with spouse as warden) and its just not fair. But that is the system in place and other than changing the law, there is nothing that I am aware of that can be done.

And before you get behind the wheel and chance it, you could be charged with a crime punishable with 180 days in jail and whoever gave you access to the car could be charged as well. So whatever you do, do not drive.

Law Offices of James A. Abate (732) 412-2364



Understood completely. I do question the reading being that high, but I understand that certain things can make your BAC [appear] to be higher such as ample time for the alcohol to get into your system, burping, mouth cavities, and even the 'way' you breath into the breathalyzer - though most of those defenses are hard to prove; especially with time passing. I have changed my lifestyle, which I can see the silver-lining within the DWI - the fact I am no longer looking for a party or even the thought of getting behind the wheel after having a drink period. All of your answers have been helpful - I am new to this site, but love what it offers. Thanks again to Mr. Abate as well as all of the other lawyers who have replied.

James A. Abate

James A. Abate


You are very welcome. Alcotest charges are difficult, but not impossible to defend. All of the issues that you mentioned were evaluated by the NJ Supreme Court and protections put in place in a case known as State v. Chun. If the police did not follow the established protocol then the Alcotest might be suppressed.


If you are convicted at that BAC your license will be suspended AND an interlock will be installed for a period of time at your expense. The only way to avoid these penalties is by being found not guilty.


There are no conditional licenses in NJ as yet. The legislature is suppose to be working in that direction. But then there is MADD. At that read you get an interlock mandatory anyway. If you can relocate you can create a situation where you can drive everywhere but NJ. There is no appeal for need. I agree with my good friend Mr. Abate you need to fight this charge. Even if you can suppress the readings you reduce the suspension and interlock. Call with more information.


The best way to try and avoid your concerns is to hire an attorney in your area.

This content is informational only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


The only alternative is beating the case. There are often many issues that can be raised and you need to speak to an attorney in your area that is experienced in DUI cases.

Michael L. Doyle
Attorney at Law
(215) 900-5565

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