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!