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What is the penalty for drunk driving in New Jersey?

What is the penalty for drunk driving in New Jersey?

Courts in the Garden State enact several types of mandatory penalties and fines against those who are convicted of DUI. These punishments are serious and can create a considerable negative impact on a defendant's quality of life.

In addition to a stay of up to 30 days in jail and 12 to 48 hours of required participation in an intoxicated driver program, a defendant can expect a suspension of his or her driver's license following a first-time DUI conviction. If a person's blood alcohol concentration measures above the legal limit of .08 percent but under .10 percent, this suspension will last for three months; with a higher BAC, the suspension can range from seven months to a year.

Someone convicted of a repeat DUI or a first offense in which his or her BAC met or exceeded .15 percent will also be ordered to keep an ignition interlock device during the suspension of driving privileges and for a significant duration afterward. These devices force drivers to pass breath tests before their vehicles will start.

A first-time DUI conviction could prove financially costly as well. Fines ranging from $250 to $500, more than $500 in fees paid to state programs and three yearly surcharges of $1,000 each could result in serious financial obstacles for many individuals.

An individual charged with DUI may wish to defer to a legal professional's targeted counsel in understanding the unique circumstances of his or her case. An attorney could analyze the evidence and the validity of police procedures to determine whether seeking an acquittal to avoid considerable fixed penalties or negotiating a plea agreement to minimize one's fines and jail term may be more feasible.

Source: State of New Jersey: Motor Vehicle Commission, "DUI: Driving Under the Influence", September 19, 2014

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