Costs & Consequences of Drinking & Driving

Being convicted of a DUI or DWI in New Jersey can accumulate a number of fines and consequences. The proper legal help allows you to better defend against the charges and limit or avoid fines, penalties, jail time and license suspension.
The consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction vary depending on the facts of your case. Call Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates to get the answers you need.

New Jersey has a number of mandatory fines and penalties for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated offenders. The consequences for a DUI or DWI conviction can include fines, surcharges in court, surcharges from the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission, jail time, participation in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC), driver’s license suspension, and installation of an interlock device.

The severity of the consequences you will face often depends on the level of offense and if you are a repeat offender or not. For example, repeat offenders typically pay higher fines than first-time offenders, and a repeat offender may be imprisoned longer than the typical 30-day sentence a first-time offender is exposed to.

First Offense DUI/DWI Charges & Penalties in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the consequences for a first offense DUI depend on a person’s intoxication level. For individuals involved in a DUI related incident with a BAC of 0.08 – 0.09 (Tier I), consequences can include:

In addition, individuals convicted of this offense will be subject to fines and fees, including:

For individuals charged with a DUI with a BAC of 0.10 percent or greater (Tier II), consequences can include:

First-time DUI offenders (both Tier I and Tier II) are also subject to a number of mandatory fines and surcharges for all convictions, including:

Second Offense DUI/DWI Penalties

A conviction of a second DUI or DWI offense within 10 years of a prior conviction is considered a repeat offense and carries stiffer penalties. Some of the mandatory fines and penalties include:

A second DUI offense is also subject to mandatory fees and surcharges imposed by the state of New Jersey, including:

Third or Subsequent Offense DUI/DWI Penalties

A conviction of a third or subsequent DUI or DWI offense within 10 years of a second conviction mandates more drastic penalties, some of which include:

Mandatory fees and surcharges for a third or subsequent DUI offense include:

Consequences Beyond Mandatory Fines and Penalties

Other penalties apply whether you’re a first-time or repeat offender, like the installation of an ignition interlock device — a breath alcohol analysis device installed on the steering column of your motor vehicle. In some cases, the juvenile arrest process in New Jersey can differ, but no one is exempt from consequences of a DUI conviction.

An ignition interlock device measures the blood alcohol level of the driver, who is required to blow into the device before the car can start. If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above a certain level, the car will not start, thus preventing an alcohol-impaired person from driving.

If the court sentences you to have an interlock device installed, you will receive a notice of suspension from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission with instructions on how to obtain the device. Failure to install the device could result in an additional one-year suspension of your driving privileges. Additional license suspension and interlock device time depends on the specifics of your case.

A DUI conviction in New Jersey can impact your future in a number of ways, including losing your license or increasing your motor vehicle insurance rates. This can also cause health, life and disability coverage to spike.

In addition, many credit bureaus include DUI convictions on credit reports, a detail that can negatively affect current and future credit scores. Poor credit can affect employment opportunities or applications for professional licenses if a credit check is required prior to hiring.

Those in military service are forced to deal with an additional set of collateral consequences if convicted of an alcohol or drug-related DUI offense. In addition to state penalties, members of the military may be subject to possible demotion or removal from military service. They are also subject to alcohol education courses, base restriction, privilege restrictions and other forms of punishment.

Unfortunately, there is no conditional driving license in New Jersey that would allow individuals convicted of a DUI to drive to and from work while their license is suspended. This can significantly affect employment status if a person relies on independent transportation. In other cases, employment opportunities may be subject to termination upon receiving a DUI conviction.

Furthermore, if you are unable to pay surcharges, the DMV can suspend your license and then file with the Superior Court for a lien against your property or the ability to garnish your wages.

Other Charges You May Face

You may also face additional charges as a result of your DUI or DWI charge. If you refused you submit a breath test, you may face fines of up to $500 and a license suspension of one year. Possessing an open container in the passenger compartment carries a fine of $200 for the first offense and a $250 fine or community service for a second offense.

Driving while intoxicated or under the influence with a minor 17 years old or younger results in disorderly persons offense and a license suspension of six months and community service.

Hire a New Jersey DUI & DWI Attorney

If you are facing DWI charges in New Jersey, it’s imperative you speak with a qualified defense attorney immediately.

There are a number of defenses available to eliminate or mitigate the impact of these charges on your life. For example, the charge may be reduced to a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, or your attorney could argue law enforcement did not have probable cause in pulling you over.

With the help of the Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates legal team, we may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped, sparing you the many costs and consequences associated with charges for driving while intoxicated.

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