Driving under the influence carries significant penalties in New Jersey. Even a first-time offense can result in jail time.
Knowing what to expect when facing charges of drinking and driving can help determine your next steps.
First offense penalties
For a first-time DUI offense, the penalties typically include:
- License suspension for three months to one year
- Up to 30 days in jail
- A fine of $250 to $400
- Enrollment in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program for 12 to 48 hours
- An annual surcharge of $1,000 for three years
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for six months to one year after license restoration
If you have not had a DUI conviction in the past 10 years, the state considers any new charge a first offense.
Second offense penalties
Penalties become more severe for a second DUI conviction within a decade of the first. License suspension doubles to two years and the state imposes a mandatory minimum of 48 hours in jail or inpatient rehab. You can receive 30 days of mandatory community service and a fine of $500 to $1,000.
The court will also require you to install an IID in your car for one to three years. You must pay an insurance surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years.
Third offense penalties
A third DUI offense in New Jersey results in a 10-year license suspension and at least 180 days in jail. You may also receive a fine of $1,000 and an annual insurance surcharge of $1,500 per year for three years. The IID requirement remains the same.
Underage DUI penalties
New Jersey has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. Drivers under 21 with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or higher can face license suspension, community service and mandatory alcohol education programs.
New Jersey enforces steep DUI penalties to discourage drinking and driving. People struggling with alcohol addiction who face criminal charges may qualify for the state’s Recovery Court program.