New Jersey Police Crackdown on DWI Arrests for Annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign

Police across the state of New Jersey began their annual DWI crackdown. The campaign is called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” and it runs until January 1. This campaign includes additional patrol units and checkpoints. Last year’s campaign yielded 1,380 DWI arrests for alcohol and/or drugs. It also included 4,960 speeding tickets and 2,023 seatbelt summonses. The Division of Highway Traffic Safety has provided $656,340 in grants to 114 law enforcement agencies across the state to municipalities that are participating in the campaign. For example, the following is a breakdown of municipalities in Passaic County and their grant amount. 

  • Hawthorne $6,000
  • Little Falls $6,000
  • Passaic $9,000
  • Paterson $9,000
  • Pompton Lakes $6,000
  • Woodland Park $6,000

According to the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, it is their mission to “ensure that travelers on new Jersey roadways reach their destinations safely – especially during the holiday season when crash risks increase.” Click here to read more at

The state of New Jersey handles DWI cases very seriously and penalties can be severe even for a first offense. In New Jersey, the threshold for DWI is 0.08% blood alcohol content. Even if you refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test, you can still be charged and convicted. Worst of all, NJ prosecutors often try to push DWI cases through the system quickly. You will need a skilled DWI attorney by your side to help you avoid strict mandatory DWI penalties, including:

Jail Time: A DWI conviction can result in jail time. A conviction for first offense DWI can result in a sentence of up to 30 days in jail.

Suspension of Driver’s License: A DWI conviction can result in full-time loss of driving privileges. Depending on your blood alcohol content, a first-time offender may be subject to suspension of his or her driver’s license for between four (4) to six (6) months. Worse yet, if your license is suspended for a DWI conviction, there will be no way around this punishment: you will not be allowed to drive under a restricted driver’s license under any circumstances. That means no hardship license and no restricted license.

IDRC: A person convicted of DWI may be required to participate in an alcohol education program at the IDRC. A first-time DWI offender must spend 12 hours attending an intensive program at the IDRC, during which time you will be interviewed by drug and alcohol counselors and possibly referred for additional treatment for a period lasting up to one (1) year. And failure to comply with IDRC requirements could result in jail time.

IID: As of December 1, 2019, all persons convicted of DWI will be required to install an IID on their car. This is a device that makes it impossible to start the car without first providing a clean breath test sample. For a first-time DWI offender, depending on your blood alcohol reading, courts will require that the IID be installed on your vehicle for a minimum of three (3) months and, under certain circumstances, up to fifteen (15) months.

Fines: A DWI conviction can result in sizable fines. A first-time offender may be fined up to $500.00, depending on your blood alcohol content. This amount does not include court costs and fees, which can total an additional $400.00. That’s $900.00 in fines.

Surcharges: A DWI conviction can subject you to thousands of dollars in surcharges. For a first offense, you could be required to pay to the NJ Division of Motor Vehicles a mandatory surcharge of $1,000.00 per year for three (3) years. That’s another $3,000.00 on top of all the other fines and court expenses.

Criminal Record: A DWI conviction can show up on background checks for the rest of your life. I know how to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

If you or a loved one is charged with DWI, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Alissa D. Hascup is skilled and experienced at defending countless individuals charged with DWI in towns like Little Falls, Pompton Lakes, and Hawthorne. She is committed to ensuring your rights are protected in court and that you receive the best possible outcome for your case. Contact her office for a free consultation about your case. She is available 24/7 at 862-257-1200.