Being accused of a DUI is not a pleasant time for a driver, especially when they consider the penalties they could face. New Jersey drivers should not only be aware of the consequences they might endure but also ways they could reduce some or all of these penalties.
What are the penalties for a drunk driving conviction in New Jersey? While the details of the stop and case will determine the severity of the punishment, in the state of New Jersey, a DUI is considered a serious offense and often carries heavy penalties such as fines, license suspension, the requirement of an ignition interlock device, community service and even jail time.
Depending on the circumstances such as the blood alcohol content of the accused driver and whether this is their first DUI, they could face mandatory fines and penalties if they are convicted. For example, if the driver’s blood alcohol content was 0.10 or greater, they could lose their license for between 7 months to a year, pay thousands of dollars in fines, face up to 30 days in jail, complete 12 to 48 hours at an intoxicated driver resource center and have an ignition interlock device installed for the length of their suspension and for 6 months to a year following the restoration of their license.
For repeat offenders, the penalties could be much more harsh. For example, for a second offense within 10 years, a driver could lose their license for two years, facing higher fines, go to prison for 2 to 90 days, complete 30 days of community service, attend an intoxicated driver resource center for 12 to 48 hours and have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle during license suspension and for one to three years after it is restored.
Whether it is a driver’s first, second or third offense, being convicted of a DUI could result in serious consequences. Because of this, it is important that drivers are aware of their legal rights and defense options. Making a plea bargain, questioning the reliability of a blood alcohol test or causing evidence against them to be inadmissible could help a defendant reduce or dismiss the charges against them.