New Jersey Penalties For DWI

DWI (driving while intoxicated) is a serious traffic offense under New Jersey state law. It can lead to an individual’s driver’s license being suspended, fines, and jail time. What’s more, an offender may need to have a device installed on their vehicle (they have to pass a breathalyzer before the car will start), their insurance rates could go up (they may be canceled by the current insurance company), and more. If a breathalyzer test was refused by the person suspected of DWI, there can be further punishment. Penalties vary in severity, depending on whether or not this is the first time the person has received a DWI.

In general, all penalties can be costly and severe. One of the most important things to remember is to retain legal representation if you are accused of DWI.

DWI Penalties in General

There are numerous stipulations surrounding DWIs in New Jersey. From state to state, penalties can vary depending on how each state views these stipulations. Some of the factors that can weigh in, and help to determine the penalties appropriate for a DWI charge, can include the following:

    • Whether or not the person is under or over the age of 21
    • The specific blood alcohol level of the individual
    • Whether or not the driver has a CDL (commercial driver’s license)

Penalties also vary, and can include the following:

    • Suspended driver’s license (the number of days/months/years can vary)
    • At the judge’s discretion, mandatory penalties like community service, attending a class on highway safety and alcohol education (IDRC or intoxicated driver program)
    • Jail
    • Fines
    • Insurance surcharges

First Offense

For seven months to one year, a driver’s license will be suspended if the BAC (blood alcohol content) is above 0.10% on a first offense. Up to 30 days in jail may be required. For three years, there will be annual $1000 insurance surcharges. For 12 to 48 hours there will be an IDRC requirement. Between a $300 and $500 fine will be mandatory.

Second Offense

If, within 10 years of an initial DWI offense, a second one is committed, for two years, the driver’s license will be suspended. As with the first offense, insurance and IDRC charges will be in effect. There will also be a fine between $500 and $1000, community service of 30 days would be a possibility, and anywhere from 48 hours up to 90 days may be required in jail.

Third Offense

For 10 years, a driver’s license will be suspended if, within 10 years of the second DWI, a third one is committed. For three years, annually, insurance charges are $1500. There will be a $1000 fine. For 12 to 48 hours, IDRC attendance will be required. Community service of 90 days maximum may be ordered. Up to 180 days in jail could be faced, as well.

Ignition Interlock Devices

Whether or not the offending party will need an ignition interlock device on their vehicle will be up to the judge’s discretion if the BAC level was below 0.15% on a first offense DWI conviction. This device will be automatically ordered if a second, third, or if a subsequent conviction occurs with a BAC of 0.15% or higher (and the driver is found guilty of DWI).

Ask Carcich O’Shea to Represent You in Court

Have you been accused of a crime for which you feel you are innocent? Do you feel your rights aren’t being appropriately represented? Could you use some legal advice? Turn to us. Tell us about your case.

If you’d like to get in touch with Carcich O’Shea, there are several ways. You can use our convenient online form, or visit our office at 401 Hackensack Ave.; Suite 707; in Hackensack, New Jersey. We also have an office at 222 N. Main St. in New York City (please call ahead either way).

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