The consequences for being convicted of drunk driving in New Jersey are serious, and can include suspension of your license, jail time, the use of an Ignition Interlock Device, and certain other fines and costs. By far the most expensive cost is the insurance surcharge, payable to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, which can be anywhere from $3,000 to $4,500, depending on how many times you are convicted.
Do You Have to Pay the Surcharges?
All of this can be devastating to a New Jersey licensed driver, but what if you're from out of state? What if you were charged with a DUI while visiting New Jersey and licensed in another state? Well, a judge here can't suspend your license, but he or she can suspend your ability to drive in the Garden State. But what about the surcharges? Do you have to pay them to the New Jersey MVC?
Yes, you do. This is an obligation that can be imposed on you no matter where your license is from. The reverse is also true. If you are a New Jersey licensed driver, and the Motor Vehicle Commission gets wind of an out of state DUI conviction, they will slap you with the same surcharges ($3,000 or $4,500).
You Could Also Lose Your Driver's License!
Your license may be suspended as well. The states communicate with each other through something called the the Driver License Compact, which includes every state except Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Thus your home state (if it belongs to the compact) will hear about the violation and could also suspend your license. The qualifier is that your home state must have the same traffic violation on its books. For example, if you are convicted here of Careless Driving, but your home state doesn't have that violation, then you would not be punished reciprocally there.
Consequences of a NJ DUI Bad No Matter Where You're From!
Whether you're licensed here in New Jersey or not, a drunk driving charge is a serious thing that can have long lasting consequences. You should have an attorney to guide you through the process and protect your rights, raising any possible defenses.
If you have been arrested and charged for drunk driving in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment for a free consultation in my Woodbury office. If you are out of state or out of the area, this can be done by phone.
If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's traffic laws, then download my free book, A Guide to Driving Legally in NJ, and Surviving Traffic Court If You Don't.
If you liked this information and found it useful, then you might like or need these others:
- What are the penalties for a first offense?
- What are the penalties for a second offense?
- What are the penalties for a third or subsequent offense?