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What are the penalties for a first-time DUI in New Jersey?

Driving under the influence (DUI) can result in points on your driving record, increased insurance rates, and suspension of your driver’s license. However, you must know that just because you have a charge for this violation does not necessarily mean that the court will find you guilty. You can prevent the consequences of this traffic violation by building a strong defense and proving your innocence in court.

Penalties

In New Jersey, a person is guilty of DUI when their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is above 0.08 %. The penalties for this violation vary depending on how much alcohol a person has in their blood while driving. They also depend on whether the accused committed a prior DUI violation. The consequences of a first-time DUI are not as harsh as for those who have a history of DUI offenses, but they are still significant. The different penalties for a first-time DUI are:

BAC between 0.08 and .10%

  • A fine of $250-$400
  • Imprisonment for up to 30 days
  • A license suspension for 3 months
  • Use of the ignition interlock device for 3 months
  • A minimum of 6 hours a day for 2 consecutive days in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • An automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for 3 years

 BAC between 0.10 and .15%

  • A fine of $300-500
  • Imprisonment for up to 30 days
  • A license suspension for 7 months to 1 year
  • Use of the ignition interlock device for 7 months to 1 year
  • A minimum of 6 hours a day for 2 consecutive days in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • An automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for 3 years

If the offender’s BAC is above .15%, they must face the same consequences as those who have a BAC between 0.10 and .15%. The only difference is those with a BAC greater than .15% must install the ignition interlock device for up to 21 months.

Apart from these penalties, all DUI offenses require a $100 surcharge for the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund, a $100 Motor Vehicle Commission restoration fee and another $100 for an intoxicated driving program. Also, those who the court finds guilty will have to give $50 for the Violent Crimes Compensation Fund.

The right to defense

You cannot take your DUI accusation lightly, as it carries expensive penalties that maybe you can’t afford to pay. However, you have the chance to avoid the consequences of a DUI violation by defending yourself in court. Sometimes the police make errors with the chemical tests or arrests, and if this happened to you, the court would not make you suffer the consequences of their mistake. You have the right to fight back against this accusation and prove your innocence in court.