DWI Defense in Ocean County

Law enforcement in Toms River and other areas of Ocean County are among those with the highest number of DWI arrests in New Jersey.  Nearly 30% of traffic-related fatalities involve a driver that was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Lawmakers continue to create provisions that result in DWI offenders facing significant penalties and consequences. 

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Drivers are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle in New Jersey while under the influence of alcohol or drugs that are narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-forming. The legal limit for the consumption of alcohol is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%. This is the standard established at the federal level.

Underage DWI

Motorists that are under 21 years old are subject to a legal BAC limit of .01%. These offenders can expect to have their driver's license suspended for at least 30 days and be ordered to complete 15 or more days of community service. They also must complete an alcohol safety program and pay any applicable fees.

Chemical Testing for Alcohol or Drugs

When a police officer has "reasonable grounds" to suspect that a driver is impaired, they can request that the driver submits to a chemical test. These include testing that involves breath, blood or urine.

In court, a “preponderance of the evidence” standard is used to determine whether the probable grounds existed for the police officer to request chemical testing. If such grounds existed and the vehicle operator knowledgeably refused to submit to testing they are subject to a license suspension, fines, and other penalties.


1st Offense < .10% BAC

1st Offense .10-.14% BAC

1st Offense >.15% BAC

2nd Offense

3rd Offense




Up to 6 months

Up to 2 years

Up to 8 years

Ignition Interlock

3 months

Up to 12 months

Up to 21 months

Up to 6 years

Up to 12 years


Up to $400

Up to $500

Up to $500

Up to $1,000



Up to 30 days

Up to 30 days

Up to 30 days

48 hours +

90 to 180 days[1]

IRDC Program

Up to 48 hours

Up to 48 hours

Up to 48 hours

48 hours +

90 to 180 days[2]

Community Service




30 days


Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)

In December 2019, lawmakers in New Jersey implemented an alternative to driver's license suspensions that involves the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) to the offender's vehicle. An IID requires the driver to submit a breath sample that is screened for alcohol before the vehicle will start.

Multiple DWI Offenses

A 10-year “look back” period applies when determining if an offender has a prior DWI offense(s). The penalties for those with offenses are significantly more severe. This is also applicable when the motorist has a prior refusal(s) to submit to chemical testing. A prior conviction for a “violation of a substantially similar nature in another jurisdiction” is always deemed to be a prior offense.

Established Ocean County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Have you been arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Having experienced legal representation in these matters is critical to ensure that you are treated fairly. For a case consultation, contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.

[1] 180 days may be split between jail and IRDC 
 180 days may be split between jail and IRDC

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.