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Penalties for a conviction will vary in severity depending on whether it’s your first, second, or third offense.
- First Offense – All DUI and Refusal convictions require installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in a motor vehicle owned, leased, or principally operated by the driver. Proof of IID installation is required to have driving privileges restored.
- On a first offense DUI conviction, the driver must surrender his/her New Jersey license to the court, which then forwards the license to the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). The driver is suspended until he/she gets an IID installed in the car he/she plans to drive, brings proof of installation to the MVC, pays a restoration fee of $200, and gets a new picture ID with “INTERLOCK” printed at the top.
- How long your license will be suspended and the IID must remain installed depends on your BAC. If the conviction is for driving under the influence of drugs, license suspension is 7 to 12 months, with no IID.
- Fines for a first offense in court are between $600 and $800. Surcharges out of court are $3,000 to the State plus insurance company surcharges that range from $3,000 to more than $10,000. Alcohol classes are required for 12 to 48 hours. Jail can be imposed for up to 30 days.
- Second Offenses – For a second DWI conviction, if you are convicted with a BAC of 0.08% or above, or if the State proves you were DWI based on your physical behavior, your New Jersey driving privileges will be suspended for 1 to 2 years. Fines are around $800. You must be sentenced to jail for a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 90 days. You must perform 180 hours of community service. Your driving privileges will be restored when you show proof of installation of an IID in the car you intend to drive. You are restricted to only driving a vehicle that has an IID installed for 2 to 4 years following your suspension. You will also have to pay costly surcharges: $3,000, payable at $1,000 every year for 3 years to the State, and a range of $3,000 to more than $10,000 in surcharges from your insurance company.
- Third Offenses – On a third or greater conviction, the jail term is a mandatory 180 days served in a county jail. It is possible to serve up to 90 days in an in-patient rehabilitation facility. New Jersey driving privileges are revoked for 8 years. Fines and assessments in court total more than $1,325; surcharges out of court are $4,500 to the State, and there will be additional surcharges due to your insurance company ranging from $3,000 to more than $10,000. An IID must be installed for 2 to 4 years following your suspension.
If I have prior DUI convictions, can I have them overturned or nullified so that they do not affect a current arrest?
Yes, it’s possible to have prior convictions not considered in a current case. This is called Post Conviction Relief. Contact a New Jersey DUI Lawyer
If they are your 1st and 2nd offenses, DUI convictions that occur more than 10 years apart will be treated as unrelated when sentencing for the second. In this case, a 2nd conviction will be sentenced as a 1st offense. However, a 3rd conviction that occurs more than 10 years after the second will be sentenced as a 2nd offense rather than another first.
In addition to any penalties imposed under the usual DUI or other criminal laws, a BAC of between .01 percent to .08 percent will result in the loss of your rights to operate a motor vehicle in New Jersey or to get a license to drive in New Jersey for 30 to 90 days. You will also be sentenced to community service for 15 to 30 days and will need to satisfy the IDRC fee and program requirements.