Consequences for drunk driving increase with each offense, so it gets worse every time you are convicted. The penalty for a first offense DUI in New Jersey can depend upon your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the stop, as determined by a breathalyzer.

So What Are the Penalties?

With a reading between 0.08% and 0.099%, you face the following:

  • A fine of between $250 and $400
  • Incarceration ranging between 12 hours and 30 days (rare)
  • Approximately $700 in other fees, charges and costs

Should your reading be 0.10% or higher, however, you face:

Will You Lose Your License?

The suspension of your driver's license is not a sure thing for a first offense. In fact, it won't happen if you have a BAC less than 0.15%! Instead, you will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on a car you own, lease, or principally drive for a period of time determined by your BAC:

  • From 0.08% to below 0.10%: 3 months
  • From 0.10% to below 0.15%: 7 - 12 months

Bear in mind that your license will be immediately suspended upon conviction or guilty plea in court, subject to reinstatement (and the payment of a $100 fee) when you demonstrate to the Motor Vehicle Commission that the IID has been installed.

If your BAC is 0.15% or higher, then your license will be suspended for 4-6 months (starting on the date you prove that the IID has been installed in your car), and then the device must remain in your car for another 9 to 15 after license restoration.

A DUI Conviction Can Devastate Your Life!

A drunk driving conviction can have additional devastating effects on your life, including:

  • Hundreds of dollars in costs for the IID
  • The loss of your job if you cannot carpool or use public transportation (NJ does not allow a "to and from work" driver's license)
  • financial distress caused by the loss of income
  • $3,000 in insurance surcharges
  • a significant increase in your car insurance premiums
  • Other consequential damages and costs

So Don't Give Up the Fight!

Most people think that there is nothing they can do about their DUI charge; they just give up and plead guilty. Don't surrender; you may have defenses! If you want to know what they are, click here! Then scroll down and see what to do next!

What Should I Do?

Considering what you face, if you have been charged with drunk driving, you need to consult with a lawyer. If you received the ticket in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, want to do everything you can to avoid conviction, and are ready to act, then call me immediately at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment in my Woodbury office to discuss your options.

If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's drunk driving law, then download my free book, How Much Trouble Am I In? A Guide to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law.

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.