Changes to NJ DWI Laws in 2019

DWI Lawyers Serving Clients in the Greater Morris County Area

Local DUI Attorneys Avoid Conviction Morristown NJFirst time DWI offenders will now be impacted by New Jersey reforms that became active on December 1st, 2019. Previously, offenders charged with a first DWI/DUI offense in NJ faced consequences that included jail time, fines, and extensive driver’s license suspensions.

The new DWI law, Bill S824, was signed into law in late August of 2019 in recognition of the harmful impact of driver’s license suspension requirements for first-time DWI offenders. Many people charged with DWI had no other transportation to get to work so either lost their jobs or drove to work anyway, in violation of NJ DWI license suspension restrictions. Those caught driving under an active license suspension faced further traffic violations and the number of people impacted by this situation prompted legal change.

What’s New Under New Jersey’s Updated DWI Law?

Newly passed legislation revises the DWI sentencing guidelines by reducing the length of overall license suspension for anyone accused of their first DWI. The law also expands the reliance on ignition interlock devices instead.

An ignition interlock device is a system that requires a driver to breathe into it prior to starting the car. Breathing into the IID with more than .05% alcohol in the driver’s blood triggers the device to block the car from starting. From the perspective of legislators, requiring more IIDs and reducing license suspension periods and forfeitures is a more effective way of keeping someone from getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol.

Under the now-effective law, first time offenders who test with a blood alcohol content from .08 to .10 must use an IID for three months. If that driver tested with a blood alcohol content between .10 and .15 percent, however, the IID requirement period extends to between 7 and 12 months.

First time offenders are not entirely exempted from license suspensions under the new law, either. In the past, license suspensions of 3 months applied automatically to a new case even in the lowest BAC range up to 0.10%. Now, the license suspension for a DWI with a BAC below 0.10% has been reduced to the amount of time it takes the driver to install the IID in their vehicle.

If the driver charged with NJ DWI tests with a BAC above .15 percent, their license will be suspended for between four and six months. Following the conclusion of that period, an IID must be installed for use between 9 and 15 months. Those driver’s who fail to install an IID when it has been mandated in their case will face a one year driver’s license suspension in NJ.

What if I Don’t Own a Vehicle and I get a DWI in NJ?

If an offender does not lease or use a vehicle and gets a DUI, the person must testify to these facts in court. In lieu of an IID, a license suspension period will still apply. This suspension period will be equal to the IID installation period that would have otherwise applied in the same case.

Ignition interlock devices have already been in use throughout New Jersey for more than ten years. However, they were often part of the ramifications in sentencing for repeat offenders or those who had blood alcohol content above .15%.

According to reports, ignition interlock devices have prevented more than 74,000 attempted car starts when the driver had blood alcohol content over the limit.

What to Expect When Installing an Ignition Interlock Device

It falls to the driver to pay for and install the IID. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission manages the IID program, so the driver can begin the process of installation by visiting there shortly after conviction.

There are multiple service centers and ignition interlock vendors authorized to work with those convicted of a NJ DWI. The installation costs range from $150 to $400 with variations for the kind of car. The device is leased for an average of $75 a month, the cost of which is covered by the driver.

The interlock device does not test the breath just during the car start up period, either. After the car starts moving, the driver will be required to randomly blow into it. If the blood alcohol content remains below .05%, the engine remains running. If a subsequent on-road breath test yields results above that number, however, the driver will be given time to get off the road so that the engine will shut off.

All data is recorded within the device. Bi-monthly visits to the ignition interlock vendor all this data to be downloaded and transmitted to the state.

Morristown DWI Attorneys can Defend You Against DUI Penalties in NJ

If you have been arrested and charged with DWI, it is critical to obtain a full understanding of the consequences of a DUI conviction and defenses available in your case. Start communicating with a DWI defense lawyer serving Morristown, Mount Olive, Dover, Rockaway, Washington Township, and Jefferson. Call 908-336-5008 or contact our firm online today for an absolutely free consultation. 

Client Reviews

  • Excellent Representation

  • Quite Pleased

  • Professional and Responsive

  • Wonderful and Trusted Lawyer in American

  • Restraining Order Dismissed

  • Life saver!

  • Assault charge

  • James

  • Managing Director

  • Travis J. Tormey is a NO NONSENSE type of guy that gets things Done Right with No Delays. Excellent Find.

  • Excellent Attorney, Highly Recommend!

  • No promises, just a Pro!

  • Excellent Lawyer... Helped me in every step off my Case..

  • Great work

  • Best lawyer!!

  • FRO removal success!!

  • Easy to work with, straightforward

  • Kept my license

  • Father of client

  • Excellent Attorney , Charges Dismissed as promised

  • Helped every step of the way

  • Avoid mandatory jail time on shoplifting charges


  • Help

  • Did the job he was hired to do

  • Great lawyer

  • Simple assault charge was dropped

  • Top Notch Representation

  • Well worth it.

  • DUI Case Dismissed

  • 2 felony charges dismissed

  • Cameron bury

  • great attorney

  • Hands Down Professional and delivers results!!!

  • DUI case dismissed

  • 125 stars out of 10!!

  • Excellent at getting best outcome

  • Excellent Attorney

  • TRO Dismissal

  • Efficient Excellent attorney.

  • Excellent attorney

  • Travis successfully defended me in an unprecedented Final Restraining Order Trial with ease

  • Kick Ass Attorney!

  • Efficient and professional attorney

  • Great Lawyer And Great Results

  • Top Notch DUI Attorney

  • Client Domestic Violence

  • Restraining Order

  • A real pro in a time of need - DWI Dismissed.

  • The most experienced, patient and affordable attorney

  • Travis Tormey successfully had a False TRO against me dismissed.

  • Underaged Drinking

  • Underaged Drinking

  • DUI Dismissed

  • Saved me from a DUI. HIGHLY recommended

  • Restraining Order

  • Case dismissed with Data Driven Facts

  • Respectful. Attentive. Professional.

  • Trespassing and Under the Influence Disorderly Persons charges

  • If you are reading this- You have reached the right place! Undoubtedly, the BEST Law Firm in New Jersey!

  • Amazing attorney with a heart of gold

  • Exceeded my expectations, Highly Professional Attorney

  • Responsive and knowledgeable.

  • The Tormey law firm was very kind and professional

  • Expungement

  • Travis Tormey is a True Professional Who Kept Me Out of Jail

  • Saved me a whole ton of problems

  • Travis Tormey Review

  • A nightmare case, with a happy ending.

  • Elite NJ Marijuana Attorney! 5 Stars!!

  • An Excellent lawyer!

  • Great lawyer for DUI

  • I highly endorse Travis Tormey.

  • Travis Tormey Law Firm

  • Travis is a Lifesaver

  • Travis J. Tormey - Evaluation

  • Great Lawyer. Got me off exactly what I wanted

  • Consummate Professional!

  • Great Criminal Defense Lawyer

  • Good Service

  • Exceptional Lawyer

  • Exceptional Lawyer

  • Hired to defend me for aggravated assault

  • Hired to defend me in a restraning order

  • Excellent attorney, highly recommend his talents

  • DWI Counsel

  • I highly recommend Mr. Tormey

  • Great attorney

  • Travis Tormey, Esq. - Great Results!

  • Travis Tormey - Excellent Attorney-Kind and Trustworthy

  • Excellent Attorney-Trustworthy and Kind

  • An Outstanding lawyer!!! That will represent you in the correct way!

  • Excellent Attorney! You will not be dissapointed....

  • Travis Tormey Gets Results!

  • tormey

  • Success!!

  • Travis Tormey Review

  • Only Lawyer I Recommend

  • Very Grateful

  • Attorney review of Travis Tormey

  • Excellent

Video Library

Experience You Can Trust

With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation.

With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

The Tormey Law Firm

Morristown Location

55 Madison Avenue, Suite 400, Morristown, NJ 07960

(908) 336-5008 Directions

Areas we serve

All of Morris County including Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Denville Township, Dover, East Hanover Township, Florham Park, Hanover Township, Harding Township, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Long Hill Township, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill Township, Mount Arlington, Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Olive Township, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Pequannock Township, Randolph, Riverdale, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township, Victory Gardens, Washington Township, and Wharton.