Out of State DWI Convictions and the Effect on your New Jersey License

Bergen County New Jersey Drunk Driving (DWI) Defense Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been charged with an alcohol-related offense in New Jersey, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for help. The Tormey Law Firm, which is centrally located in Bergen County, New Jersey, is home to a group of seasoned criminal defense and drunk driving (DWI) attorneys who represent clients across the State on a regular basis. Through their distinguished tenures, our lawyers have developed experience representing clients charged with alcohol-related offenses, including driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving under the influence of drugs, and DWI in a school zone throughout New Jersey, including in Palisades Interstate Park, Bergenfield, and Elmwood Park.

In fact, Mr. Tormey is one of the few New Jersey attorneys who are certified Alcotest 7110 operators, the breath-testing device used throughout the state to prosecute drunk driving cases. As a result, Mr. Tormey knows the components of the machine, how it works, and if there are any issues with the functioning of the breath-testing device. This knowledge and expertise can be used to attack the reliability of the breath-test result in your case. With offices conveniently located in Hackensack, our knowledgeable attorneys are always on-call to assist you at (201)-330-4979. Consultations are always provided free of charge. And for more information about DWI charges in New Jersey, find us on YouTube, with Mr. Tormey’s NJ DWI Series

Will an Out-of-State DWI Conviction Affect my New Jersey License?

If you are a New Jersey driver’s license holder and you received a DWI, DUI, or refusal to submit to a breath test in another state, it can result in the suspension of your New Jersey driver’s license. The other state does not have the jurisdiction to suspend your driving privileges except in their state. However, they will notify New Jersey of the suspension based on the Interstate Compact and New Jersey may try to “domesticate” the out-of-state DWI. They will then try and suspend your New Jersey driving privileges. You are entitled to object to this suspension and request an administrative hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You are entitled to be represented by counsel at this administrative hearing. Typically, New Jersey will try to impose a suspension in accordance with New Jersey law. So, for a first offense you are facing a license suspension and ignition interlock on your vehicle. The suspension is longer if your reading was over .15% BAC. For a second and third offense the penalties are significantly enhanced.

Do Prior Out-of-State DWI Convictions Affect my DWI Case in New Jersey?

In some cases, prior DWI convictions in other states will be used to enhance a subsequent DWI conviction in New Jersey. It depends on the level of intoxication for the prior DWI and whether or not it violated New Jersey law. For example, if you have a prior DWI in a different state and your BAC for that prior DWI was .12%, and you are then charged with another DWI in New Jersey, you are facing a second offense DWI conviction with a one to two-year license suspension. However, if your BAC was lower, such as a .08% or .09%, and the offense was committed prior to 2004 (when the legal limit in New Jersey changed from .10% to .08%), then the prior DWI conviction in another state should not count to enhance this subsequent DWI. Further, if you were charged with driving while impaired in New York, the level of intoxication is much lower, so it does not necessarily enhance a subsequent DWI in New Jersey.

Contact the Hackensack Offices of The Tormey Law Firm for Immediate Assistance

As you can see, it is imperative that you have an experienced drunk driving attorney examine your prior DWI’s to determine whether or not they should count for enhancement purposes. It is also imperative that you have representation at the administrative hearing if New Jersey DMV is trying to suspend your license based on an out-of-state DWI. Do not hesitate to contact our Hackensack office location anytime for a free consultation at (201)-330-4979.


If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.