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New Jersey DUI Penalties

New Jersey DUI Penalties

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey, seek legal advice immediately. While New Jersey is committed to aggressively prosecuting individuals charged with DUI, there is still hope for building a strong defense.

The legal team at Trimble & Armano Law Offices are experienced in handling New Jersey DUI cases and identifying arguable points. We have the knowledge and expertise to build a strong defense and get your DUI charges dismissed.

Driving Under the Influence or Drugs or Alcohol

Although New Jersey does not distinguish between an Alcohol DWI (driving while intoxicated) and a Drug DUI (driving under the influence), punishments are not the same for every case. The penalties for driving under the influence range from losing your license for 3 months to 10 years, depending on the severity of your charge. Fines, surcharges, jail time, and community service can vary too. The extent of DUI consequences in New Jersey is based on blood alcohol content and past offenses. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is separated based on two values:

  • A BAC above 0.08%, but less than 0.10%
  • A BAC higher than 0.10%.

So, in New Jersey a BAC of 0.08% is the threshold for a DUI charge. Meanwhile, an individual’s history of DUI’s can also play a role. New Jersey has different penalties assigned for each of the following:

1st Offense DWI Penalties and Fines in New Jersey

Although DWIs are defined as traffic offenses rather than criminal offenses, convictions carry heavy legal consequences. Even for a first time offense DWI, you are dealing with significant penalties.If you are convicted of DWI in New Jersey with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08%, but lower than 0.10% and this is your first conviction, you are facing the following court-imposed and administrative penalties and punishments.

Penalties For a First Time DUI

  • Loss of your driving privileges for 3 months.
  • At least twelve hours of jail time and no more 30 days.
  • Between $250 and $400 in fines.
  • A $1,000 annual automobile insurance surcharge for three years.
  • Other fees and surcharges in excess of $525.
  • Possible Ignition Interlock requirement for six to twelve months.
  • Alcohol/substance abuse assessment.
  • Two days of 6-hour mandatory alcohol classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).
  • A DWI conviction with a BAC of 0.10% or higher comes with higher fines and a longer license suspension for first time offenders.
  • Forfeiture of your driving privileges for at least seven months and no longer than one year.
  • Between $300 and $500 in fines.
  • Additional penalties as identified above.

DUI in a School Zone

If you are convicted of DWI while driving in a school zone, you are subject to an additional $500 to $800 fine, up to 60 more days of jail time, and your driving privileges will be suspended for an additional one to two years.

The Cost of a DWI

A first time DWI conviction is extremely costly. There are several surcharges and associated expenses.

Drunk driving enforcement fund surcharge$100
Court costs$0 – $33
Safe Neighborhood Services Funds surcharge$50
Physicians fee$0 – $20
Various assessments$6
Alcohol Education, Rehabilitation & Enforcement Fund$100
Intoxicated Driver Resource Center per diem fees$75 per diem
DL Restoration Fee$100
Merit Rating Plan Surcharge$3,000
Merit Rating Plan Point assessment$525 – $675

If you are unable to pay your surcharges your driving privileges may be suspended indefinitely and the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) may file a claim in Superior Court and obtain a lien against your property and garnish your wages.

Although it may seem straightforward, DUI charges can be contested with knowledgeable legal help. The Law Offices of Trimble & Armano, defense attorneys are trained in the use of the Alcotest as well as the field sobriety test. A thorough understanding of these testing strategies allows our defense team to identify any errors in your arrest. Contact our offices today to begin discussing a defense strategy to fight DUI charge.

2nd Degree DUI Penalties in N.J.

New Jersey drunk driving penalties are severe, costly and far-reaching, even for a first offense. If you are a repeat offender, the consequences increase significantly. In addition, repeat offenses are not delineated based on varying blood alcohol concentrations. A BAC of 0.08% receives the same possible penalties as one of 0.10%. New Jersey identifies the following penalties for a second DUI offense within ten years of your initial offense:

  • Minimum fines of $500 and maximum of $1,000
  • 30 days of community service
  • 12 – 48 hrs Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • $3,000 in automobile insurance surcharges over a 3-year period
  • Jail time between 2 – 90 days
  • A minimum 2 years of license suspension
  • An ignition interlock device while license is suspended and following return of license

Note that these penalties are not the only ones. There are several other surcharges and associated costs for DUI offenses, such as a $75 Neighborhood Services Fund surcharge, a $100 Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund (AERF) surcharge, $230 – $280 for IDRC fees, the cost of an Ignition Interlock Device, and more.

3rd Degree DUI Penalties in New Jersey

Just as with a second offense, if you are arrested for DUI in New Jersey a third time, the penalties will increase in severity. Your arrest must occur within ten years of your second offense, but a BAC of 0.08% or higher is all it takes. New Jersey outlines the following consequences for a third DUI offense:

  • Minimum $1,000 fine
  • A maximum of 90 days of community service
  • 12 – 48 hrs Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • $4,500 in automobile insurance surcharges over a 3-year period
  • 180 days of jail time
  • 10 years of license suspension
  • An ignition interlock device

Again, like with a first and second offense, there are other surcharges and fees for DUI offenses. They include a $100 Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund (AERF) surcharge, a $75 Neighborhood Services Fund surcharge, $280 for IDRC fees, the cost of an Ignition Interlock Device, a $100 DUI enforcement surcharge, and more.