New Jersey Traffic Lawyers

DUI & DWI in New Jersey | Drunk Driving Charges

Getting charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most serious driving-related crimes you can be arrested for in New Jersey.

A conviction will stain your driving record, result in jail time, lead to a suspended license, and could make it extremely hard to get a job or keep one.

Navigating through the complex web of of DUI law can be daunting to say the least and next to impossible if you try to do it without an attorney.

Make no mistake, the consequences are far too dire to represent yourself. Seek legal advice from an experienced DUI attorney immediately.

DUI & DWI Basics

New Jersey does not make a distinction between driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI). Both are prohibited under the same body of law.

The threshold BAC level for a DUI in NJ is 0.08%.

However, the higher your blood alcohol content (BAC) level, the harsher the penalties you face.

New Jersey has two categories of DUI violations. The first includes all BAC levels above 0.08% but below 0.10%. The second category is for all BAC levels above 0.10%.

Contrary to popular belief, just having a beer or two could put your BAC over the legal limit.

Likewise, your BAC level may be above the legal limit even though you are not intoxicated.

Remember, if you had alcohol, don’t get behind the wheel; it’s dangerous and the consequences are extremely costly.

DUI & Drunk Driving Penalties in NJ

Even for a first offense, a DUI conviction can be devastating.

If convicted, you will face:

  • Mandatory minimum jail time of 12 hours to 30 days
  • License suspension for 3 months
  • $250-$500 fine
  • State imposed fees and surcharges of $500+
  • $1,000 auto insurance surcharge for 3 years
  • Auto insurance hike of 131% (according to InsuranceQuotes.com calculator for NJ drivers) that lasts about 4 years
  • Potential Ignition Interlock requirement for 6-12 months
  • 2 days of 6-hour mandatory alcohol classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)

Add it up, in financial penalties alone, you can be forced to shell out over $10,000 in out of pocket expenses for a DUI in NJ.

Also, it is important to note that failing to pay your mandatory surcharges could result in an indefinite license suspension.

If you were driving under the influence in a school zone, your penalties shoot up even more.

Above and beyond the penalties listed above, you will incur an additional $500-$800 fine for DUI in a school zone, up to 60 more days of jail time, and your license will be suspended for 1-2 years.

Similarly, if your BAC was 0.10, your fines and surcharges will be even higher.

Repeat Offenders: 2nd & 3rd Degree DUI Penalties

If you are a repeat offender, the penalties increase even more severely.

If convicted a second time for DUI in NJ, you face:

  • Mandatory minimum jail time of 2-90 days
  • 30 days of community service
  • License suspension for 2 years
  • $500-$1,000 fine
  • State imposed fees and surcharges of $500+
  • $3,000 auto insurance surcharges
  • A second auto insurance hike of 131% that lasts about 4 years (according to InsuranceQuotes.com calculator for NJ drivers) and likelihood of being dropped entirely
  • 12-48 hours of mandatory alcohol classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
  • Ignition Interlock Device must be installed in your vehicle

If you got a third DUI within 10 years of your second, you face:

  • 180 days of jail time
  • A maximum of 90 days of community service
  • License suspension for 10 years
  • Mandatory minimum $1,000 fine
  • State imposed fees and surcharges of $500+
  • $4,500 in automobile insurance surcharges
  • Your auto insurance carrier will drop you entirely
  • 12-48 hours of mandatory alcohol classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
  • Ignition Interlock Device must be installed in your vehicle

Make sure you retain an experienced DUI attorney in NJ who knows how to help you avoid a conviction and reduce the blow of these devastating consequences.

Who Should You Contact?

If you recently got a DUI in New Jersey, contact Michael Botton of The Botton Law Firm today at 732-894-3686. His team of trained NJ DUI attorneys have years of experience fighting to keep you out of jail and getting the best results possible.

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