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New Jersey Does Poorly in Ranking of State DWI Laws

New Jersey ranks very low on the list of states with the toughest drunk driving laws, according a recent report published on WalletHub.

The WalletHub report focused on state laws, enforcement of those laws, and several other factors – and what the data indicates is that New Jersey does poorly when it comes to cracking down on drunk drivers. The report, titled “2016 Strictest & Most Lenient States on DUI,” found that the Garden State ranks just 44th among all US states in Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) laws and enforcement.

Researchers considered 15 different metrics when ranking states for the DWI study. Some of those metrics, and the NJ rank in each metric, include:

  • Criminal Penalties: New Jersey is 45th among all states as far as fines and jail sentences in DWI cases.
  • DWI Prevention: New Jersey does extremely poorly, ranking just 39th, in preventing repeat arrests of drivers previously convicted of drunk driving.
  • Administrative License Suspension: When it comes to automatic suspensions of DWI offenders’ licenses by the DMV, New Jersey does a little better than average and ranks 21st among U.S. states.

DWI Arrests in New Jersey

Across the nation, more than one million people are arrested annually for drunk driving violations. Most alarmingly, almost 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents each years. In fact, alcohol was reported as a cause in more than 30 percent of all auto accident fatalities in 2014, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

It’s not all bad news, though. Across the nation, the total number of DWI accidents and DWI fatalities has declined over the past few decades. This is in large part an effect of more stringent enforcement of drunk driving laws in many states.

For more information, access the Basking Ridge Patch article, “New Jersey among Most Lax on Drunk Driving in Nation, Analysis Says.”


If you have been arrested and cited for Driving While Intoxicated, Driving Under the Influence, Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test, or any other drunk driving offense in New Jersey, you need to talk to an experienced traffic defense lawyer immediately. Contact the Law Firm of Stephen R. Piper today for a free consultation about your case.


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