Penalties for drunk driving in New Jersey increase with each offense, so it gets worse every time you are convicted. This is shown clearly in the sentencing guidelines for a second offense.

This is because unlike a first offense, the penalties do not depend upon your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the stop, as determined by a breathalyzer. It is the same for any reading of 0.08% or higher, or a finding of impairment other than by breathalyzer.

You essentially face the following:

  • A fine of between $500 and $1,000
  • $364 in various additional small fines and penalties
  • Thirty days community service
  • Two to 90 days in jail
  • Two year driver's license suspension
  • Either $1,000 or $1,500 in DMV surcharges per year for three years
  • A one to three year installation of ignition interlock device

Jail time is mandatory for a second offense. However, this need not be served in county jail. It can be served in an in-patient rehabilitation center or in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). The latter tends to be the option in most cases. Find out more here!

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