Arrested for a DUI Offense?
Let an experienced attorney help you navigate the complex world
of New Jersey DWI laws.

DWI & DUI Lawyer in Northern New Jersey

Getting convicted for drunk driving or drugged driving in New Jersey is costly. We’re not just talking about the hefty fines. A conviction for driving under the influence can lead to jail time, mandatory license suspension, increased insurance rates, and numerous other potential legal and financial burdens.

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI violation within Bergen County or Northern New Jersey, Hackensack criminal lawyer Alan Peyrouton can help you. He will take the time to listen carefully to the details of my client’s cases and straightforwardly explain your options. 

You can trust top-rated DUI defense attorney Alan Peyrouton to fight for your rights and provide personalized attention to help minimize the consequences of your DUI offense.

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Understanding New Jersey DUI Laws

For many, a first-time DUI arrest is their first intimate contact with the criminal justice and legal system. It’s never a pleasant experience, and the laws, penalties, and terminology can be complex and confusing.

At Peyrouton Law, we believe in educating the public as we do with our legal clients. The more you know about NJSA 39:4-50 — the New Jersey drunk driving statute — the better equipped you’ll be to make decisions that are in your best interests.

What's the difference between DUI and DWI charges?

In New Jersey, DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) are the same. The terms are interchangeable and refer to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As such, we will go back and forth between DUI and DWI throughout this page.

Consequences of DUI Convictions in New Jersey

Depending on factors such as your prior record and the severity of the offense, a DUI conviction in New Jersey can carry serious consequences. These include:

What is the legal limit for DUI in New Jersey?

The legal limit for DUI in New Jersey is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. So if you have a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you are considered to be legally impaired and can be charged with DUI. However, even if your BAC is below 0.08%, you can still be charged with DUI if the police officer believes that your driving ability has been impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Penalties for a First-Offense DUI Conviction

In New Jersey, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs or to allow someone else to drive your vehicle if they’re under the influence.

The penalties for first-time drunk driving conviction include the following:

If a driver's blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher but less than 0.10%:

If a driver's blood alcohol concentration is 0.10% or higher:

What happens if I'm convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs?

In New Jersey, violations first-offense violations for driving under the influence of drugs are treated the same as those for DWI (driving while intoxicated). But in addition to the DUI charges, you will likely be charged with drug possession and distribution.

Penalties for a Second-Offense DUI Conviction

The penalties become much more severe if you are convicted of a second DUI. The penalties for a second-time conviction include the following:

Penalties for a Third-Offense DUI Conviction

The penalties become even more severe if you are convicted of a third DUI offense. The penalties for a third-time conviction include the following:
Attorney Alan G. Peyrouton
Attorney Alan G. Peyrouton
Alan Peyrouton is a top-rated criminal defense lawyer based in Hackensack, New Jersey. The founding partner of Peyrouton Law, he defends clients accused of crimes in Bergen County and throughout Northern New Jersey. Whether handling the most complicated or routine cases — Mr. Peyrouton consistently receives five-star reviews from satisfied clients, reflecting his unwavering dedication to his profession.

What a New Jersey DUI Lawyer Can Do for You

Navigating the New Jersey court system can be complex and overwhelming, and that’s where an experienced DWI defense attorney like Alan Peyrouton can help.

When you meet Alan Peyrouton during your free initial consultation, he will listen attentively to your side of the story. This conversation is a critical first step in understanding your legal options and crafting a strong DUI defense strategy to fit the facts of your case.

When you hire Alan Peyrouton to handle your drunk driving case — you will get:

The sooner you hire an experienced legal representation, the better your chances of a successful outcome for your criminal drug case. Contact our law office at (201) 686-9538 or to schedule your free consultation today.

The DWI Investigation & Arrest Process

When police suspect a driver of either driving while intoxicated or under the influence, they must follow specific procedures to make an arrest. Let’s take a look at the DUI arrest process.

Initial Stop

For the traffic stop that led to the DWI charges to be valid, it must comply with the rules set by the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling, State v. Carpentieri. Under that ruling, police must have justifiable “reasonable suspicion” to believe that a violation of the traffic laws has occurred to make a stop for DWI.

During the initial stop phase, an officer may approach your motor vehicle, request documentation, and ask questions. The officer will then try to gather probable cause for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If signs of impairment are visible, such as slurred speech or the odor of alcohol, they can become the basis for making a DWI arrest.

Field Sobriety Tests

If the officer believes a driver is intoxicated, they will ask them to step out of their vehicle and take field sobriety tests. These field sobriety tests, which should match the federal field sobriety test standards approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), include the following:

Remember that doing well on field sobriety tests won’t necessarily stop you from being arrested for DWI. But it can help to provide a defense in court by showing that you weren’t impaired.

What Happens if I Refuse To Take a Breath Test in New Jersey?

Any New Jersey driver who refuses to take a breath test is breaking the law. Under the state’s “implied consent” law, you have already given your consent to a breath test if suspected of driving while intoxicated. 

If a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you are driving while intoxicated and you refuse to take a breath test — you can still be convicted of the DWI refusal charge.

In short, if you refuse to take a breath or a field sobriety test while in New Jersey, you may face penalties similar to someone convicted of a DUI or DWI.


If the police officer determines that there is enough evidence to arrest the driver for suspicion of DWI, they will take the following steps:

Know Your Rights: 4 Tips for Dealing with Police Office During DUI Stops

If you’ve been recently charged with a DUI in New Jersey — or want to avoid a first DUI charge — knowing how to deal with police officers is critical legal knowledge here.

Even routine traffic stops can be intensely stressful experiences, but knowing your rights and flexing your rights can help you minimize the risk of a DUI charge. Here are four tips that have helped my clients over the years:

The DUI Court Process

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey, you must appear in municipal court to face the charges against you. This process includes an arraignment and a trial.


The arrangement is your first appearance in municipal court, where the judge will explain the charge, potential penalties, and your legal rights. You will also enter a plea and decide whether you want to hire an attorney. The judge will then schedule another court date.

During subsequent court dates, you or your lawyer will negotiate with the municipal court judge and prosecutor to resolve the case. However, New Jersey does not allow plea bargains for DUI charges. So if your case cannot be resolved through negotiation, it will go to trial.

Negotiations and Trial

A knowledgeable DWI lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charges or to obtain a lesser sentence. But an aggressive and skilled DUI attorney will know how to defend you at trial when negotiations are unsuccessful.

During a trial, the prosecutor will attempt to prove that you are guilty of DUI. If found guilty, the judge will sentence you, which may include losing your license, paying fines, and facing other penalties. In limited circumstances, your lawyer may be able to have criminal defense lawyers get your DUI case dismissed.

Remember: In New Jersey, a DWI charge cannot be plea bargained, downgraded, or amended. The municipal judge will find you guilty or not guilty of the driving while intoxicated charge. And if you’re found not guilty, your charge will be dismissed.

3 Effective DUI Defense Strategies to Fight Drunk Driving Charges

An effective DUI defense strategy can help you avoid or reduce the penalties you may face. Here are three key DUI defense strategies that have helped Peyrouton Law clients avoid or reduce penalties for drunk driving offenses:

Strategy #1: Challenging the constitutional basis of the motor vehicle stop or arrest

If the police illegally stopped, arrested, and searched your vehicle — any evidence they collect may be inadmissible in court.

Client Success Story

A DWI case we won involved a client who had gone to his car to escape a bad domestic situation. He was drinking wine when the police approached him. The police arrested and charged our client with a DWI. It was clear to the municipal judge that our client had no intent to drive his vehicle.

Strategy #2: Questioning the scientific accuracy of the breathalyzer or blood test results

Breathalyzers and blood tests can give inaccurate readings. If your attorney can show that the results are unreliable, you may be able to avoid conviction.

Client Success Story

Our Newark client got charged with a DWI after police administered a breathalyzer test. After my team reviewed the evidence, we discovered that the police did not properly calibrate the Alcotest machine. We then convinced the court to throw out the blood alcohol content (BAC) reading. As a result, our client received a three-month license suspension rather than a seven-month suspension.

Strategy #3: Identifying procedural violations with evidence collection or arrest

Police officers often fail to follow proper protocol when arresting someone for a DUI. A skilled New Jersey DUI lawyer attorney will examine every aspect of the arresting officers’ actions to determine if they followed the law correctly. If the police made any errors, your attorney could argue for a reduced sentence or dismissal of your charges.

Client Success Story

We had a Paterson case where our client was in an accident. He was transported to the hospital and had his blood drawn. We identified errors in the manner in which the police obtained the evidence. As a result, we got his DWI charges dismissed. At Peyrouton Law, we're experienced and knowledgeable New Jersey DWI lawyers. We'll review all the evidence, determine if you have any defenses against the charge, and work to achieve the best outcome possible for your case.

How Do I Find the Best DUI Lawyer in New Jersey for My Case?

The best DUI lawyer for you will be an experienced attorney with a proven track record of success in DWI cases. At the Peyrouton Law firm, we are passionate about defending our clients who face DWI charges and protecting their rights within the criminal justice system.

Questions to Ask Prospective New Jersey DUI Lawyers

For peace of mind, you must be confident that you’ve hired the right criminal defense lawyer. During consultations with prospective defense attorneys, here are a few questions you might want to ask them:

That last question is crucial because a large law firm might have multiple criminal defense attorneys. So be sure to ask if the lawyer you meet during your free consultation is the one who gets assigned to your case.

Lastly, when evaluating prospective DUI attorneys, remember that you are hiring them to defend you. If you don’t feel comfortable with this person, move on!

Call to Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI in New Jersey, contact the Peyrouton Law offices for a free consultation. You will meet Alan Peyrouton, an experienced and skilled DUI attorney with more than 12 years of experience in the Bergen County court system.

Call (201) 686-9538 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

Peyrouton Law will aggressively defend you against all criminal allegations and work to get the best possible outcome for your criminal case.
Alan with client

FAQs about DUI and DWI Charges in NJ

New Jersey law does not require you to hire a DUI lawyer for a first-time offense, but it’s strongly recommended. DUI cases can be complicated, and a good lawyer can help reduce the charges and penalties. Hiring a lawyer may also be cheaper than a DUI conviction’s fines and other costs. So, it’s worth considering.

If your DWI involves an accident with serious physical injury or death, you may be charged with a serious felony. In addition, if you’re charged with driving under a suspended license for a DWI offense, you may face an 18-month prison sentence.

The cost of hiring a DUI lawyer in New Jersey varies depending on the law firm and the complexity of your case. Most lawyers offer free consultations, so you can ask what their fees will be. Before hiring an attorney, ask about payment options and any additional costs associated with the case.

Most defense attorneys will answer this question with a decisive “no.” But here’s another way to look at it. If you want to increase your odds of being found guilty and receiving the harshest possible penalties in your DUI case, then representing yourself is a good idea. However, if you want the best chance of obtaining a dismissal or  reduced charges — you should hire an experienced criminal lawyer.

In NJ, a DWI is not a criminal offense, and a DWI conviction will not result in a criminal record. However, a DWI conviction will appear on your driving record forever.

The state also has an early intervention program for individuals at risk of developing a substance use disorder, which aims to prevent drug-related crimes and reduce recidivism.

In all likelihood, a DWI will not appear on a criminal background check. An employer may run an exhaustive background check that includes driving records, in which case a DUI conviction may appear.

If you have been convicted of a DWI while operating your private motor vehicle, you may face a one-year license suspension because of your CDL. But accumulating two DWI convictions will result in a permanent CDL suspension.

No, a New Jersey DUI conviction cannot be expunged from a driving record since it is considered a traffic offense, not a criminal offense. Expungements are only available for criminal offenses.

However, removing a DUI conviction from your driving record after ten years through Post Conviction Relief is possible.

The police in New Jersey uses a twelve-step evaluation called the Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) to identify motorists driving under the influence of drugs. 

If police suspect someone is driving under the influence of drugs, they will typically administer a blood or urine test. If you’re currently facing drug DUI charges in New Jersey, it’s crucial to seek the help of an experienced drug crime attorney who can guide you through the legal process and provide you with the necessary support.

What Our Clients Say About Our Law Firm

Peyrouton Law
Based on 201 reviews
Ronald Yee
Ronald Yee
Peyrouton Law, LLC. has lifted the writer from a most serious legal issue that could have lead to incarceration as well as a very hefty fine. This attorney took immediate charge and was able to reduce the fine to one-half of the posted amount. Further at the time of first contact, Attorney Alan Peyrouton informed that within three years passing, Expungement would be -in fact- forthcoming.That time has come with Full Grant Of Expungement for which this writer will forever be grateful: a promise made and kept!!This attorney stood by this client and always available for consultation, never adding to the retainer fee paid, which also included the New Jersey State processing charge for expunging.The "Night-Mare" is over and the legal issue is erasedas if nothing happened almost three years ago.One can not go wrong by selecting this Exceptional Law Firm.Exceptional Value, Personal Service, Expertise, Professionalism, Etc. - All: Outstanding!!Respectfully submitted,Ronald Yee- Continuing Client.
Romario Guthrie
Romario Guthrie
Depressed, confused, tired, giving up was all I was doing due to my charges I got and had to face until my attorney Alan showed up… my charges was definitely gonna put me away behind close doors and more than likely deported …it took 2+ years of investigations before we’ve heard anything at all .. lawyer Peyrouton called,left messages ,emailed throughout this time until he found a status for my case … by then it was so tense where it’d be federal where it was already pending at the Supreme Court but Alan worked his wonders and got it to the municipal court (don’t ask me how ) lol … (2 charges) he always shows up for court ,keeps me updated on everything as long as he heard any news …at the end of this hectic time of my life ,Alan could of made it possible for 1 of 2 to be dismissed and the other was lowered to a little over nothing charge ….being grateful is an understatement for me cause I surely thought this was the end but with an awesome lawyer that will work in silence but diligently , u can never go wrong ! Thank you again Alan 🫶🏽
zine benyahia hadria
zine benyahia hadria
Thanks for your help Mr Allen
Eugene Kong
Eugene Kong
Thank you so much, Alan! Alan saved me from getting a felony on my record and I only ended up having to pay court fees. I will be eternally grateful to you, Sir! I recommend this man to anybody who makes a mistake or gets in trouble.
Allen took a case for me that could have had an enormous detrimental effect on my life . I was extremely nervous, but he assured me that with his extensive experience and knowledge, that I had nothing to worry about. He also was very clear to explain the potential and harmful consequences of this infraction. He got my case dismissed. Thank you, Allen!
Jessica Richardson
Jessica Richardson
Attorney Alan G. Peyrouton has been a blessing to me. He was able to get my criminal charge dismissed on a first appearance with a low fine. Trust me, it wasn’t easy and he was quick to take on my case. Although my case was a misdemeanor, it still weighed heavy on my career, my reputation and being a divorced / single parent. Thank you Alan for your quick response and handling my case in a quickly matter. Your representation of my truthful character was solid and I will always appreciate you for that!
Orelda Williams
Orelda Williams
Alan Peyrouton is a great lawyer. Answer calls and text messages promptly. Cares about his clients and he is a very kind person over all . My experience were awesome I will recommend others to him 😊
Vijay C
Vijay C
He is very knowledgeable and polite ,impromptu whenever I called ,texted or meet him for all my doubts . Professional and trustworthy at his work
anup patil
anup patil
Very much professional in his work, always approachable and responds quickly to all the calls or messages.Very much knowledgeable and smart to his work . Never took unnecessary charges/ fees .

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