Here is some important case law on sentencing New Jersey DWI offenders. In State v. Luthe, 383 N.J. Super 512 (2006), the Appellate Division held that the amendments to the sentencing provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a)(3) effective January 20, 2004, make it clear that a third or subsequent DWI offender must be sentenced to 180 days in jail, subject to as much as 90 days credit for time spent in an IDRC-approved in-patient residential facility. Work release or credits for out-patient therapy are not permitted for these defendants.

Also, in State v. Burroughs, 349 N.J. Super 225 (2002), in order to receive the benefit of a step down in sentencing (being sentenced as a first rather than a second offender or a second offender rather than a third), the defendant must have a period of a full ten years between his second and third offenses. Furthermore, in determining the relevant date for calculating sentence enhancements based upon a prior drunk driving offense, the date of the prior offense controls as opposed to the date of the prior conviction. State v. Bischoff, 232 N.J. Super 515 (1989).