A conviction for a DWI in New Jersey can result in serious consequences that affect your life, freedom, and finances. The potential penalties you face depend on several factors, including your history of any other DWI convictions, your blood alcohol level, whether you are convicted of any other offenses at the time of your DWI and the role of your criminal defense lawyer plays. Here are some of the potential penalties you may be confronting:
First-time offenders who had a blood alcohol level of between 0.08% and 0.09% can face up to 30 days in jail. Longer jail sentences are possible with higher BACs or multiple convictions.
Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
Due to a law made effective, Dec. 1, 2019, first-time offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for three months to a year if they are convicted of DWI. This device requires that they have a BAC of 0.05% or below for the vehicle to operate. If the individual had a BAC of 0.10% to 0.14%, they will have to maintain an ignition interlock device during their license suspension, plus nine to fifteen months after their license is restored. Second-time offenders will need to keep the ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for two to four years following the restoration of their driving privileges.
Due to the aforementioned law, most first-time offenders will not lose their driving privileges of DWI since they will have the ignition interlock device installed to their vehicle. However, if they had a BAC of 0.15% or higher or were a repeat offender, their driving privileges may be suspended. Second-time offenders lose their driving privileges for one to two years.
Individuals may be required to participate in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for 12 to 48 hours if they are a first-time offender and their BAC was 0.08% or 0.09%.
First-time offenders may face a variety of financial costs, penalties, and fees, including:
- A fine between $250 and $400
- $1,00 annual surcharge to the Motor Vehicle Commission for three years
- Court fees up to $33
- Intoxicated Driver Resource Center fee of $230
- $100 drunk driving fund contribution
- $100 to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund
- $75 to the Neighborhood Services Fund
Repeat offenders may be subject to higher costs.
Other Penalties and Consequences
Individuals convicted of DWI in New Jersey may face additional consequences, including mandatory participation in community service. Car insurance rates are likely to increase after a conviction for DWI. Other types of insurance may also charge higher insurance rates. A conviction may impact a person’s job. If you are in the military, you can also be subject to other penalties. You may also face other charges, such as open container, disorderly person's offense or refusal to comply with the implied consent law.