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If on third or more DUI conviction can jail term be served on weekends in NJ?

Belmar, NJ |
Attorney answers 3


For a third or subsequent DUI conviction in New Jersey, there is a mandatory 6-month jail sentence. Up to 90 days of that sentence may be satisfied by attending an approved "in-patient" alcohol program. However, the remaining 3 months (90 days) must be served in jail. Until several years ago the jail time could be served on weekends, work release, house arrest, or even the Sheriff's Labor Assistance Program (SLAP). However, the law is clear now that these alternatives are no longer permitted in DUI cases, and the jail time must be served as straight time in the county correctional facility.


No. Under State v. Luthe, the NJ law is very clear that third time DWI convictions will result in a 180 day, straight time sentence in the county jail. Such defendants are required to go straight to jail from the court at the time of their sentencing. Up to 90 days of the jail sentence can be offset, or credited, with a stay in an IDRC-approved rehab facility. Typically, the defendant is taken directly from jail to the rehab facility.

I suggest you consult with an attorney to see if you have defenses to the present case, as well as reviewing the timing of your old matters [State v. Burroughs], the factual basis adequacy of your old guilty pleas [State v. Barboza], and whether you were represented by competent counsel in your old guilty pleas [State v. Laurick]. These issues may affect if your new matter is treated as a 3rd offense, and/or if you can argue for a non-custodial sentence in this matter.


Under 2004 amendments to the New Jersey DWI Law (and the interpretation of those amendments by the Courts), there are no alternatives to a jail sentence imposed for a 3rd offense. This includes house arrest, work release, weekends, Sherriff Labor Assistance, probation, etc. The jail sentence for a 3rd offense is a mandatory 180-day term, up to 90 of which can be served in an IDRC-approved in-patient rehabilitation program. Some county jails have privately run treatment facilities that are in effect offshoots of the jail. People sent there are inmates, and subject to and under the supervision of the county warden. In some cases, the entire term (180 days) can be served in the facility. You should consult with an experienced nj dwi lawyer who should (1) obviously thoroughly assess the underlying case (the 3rd offense) and ready it for a trial, and (2) review your prior convictions to determine whether an appropriate application can be made in those courts to either re-open the case, or seek a protective order which renders your jail exposure as that of a second offender (2 to 90 days with jail alternatives).

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