New Jersey DWI First Offense
In New Jersey, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. If you are caught drinking and driving, you will be charged with a DWI.
New Jersey has an implied consent law, which means that simply by driving on New Jersey roads, you are agreeing to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test if asked to do so by law enforcement. Refusing to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test is a crime, and carries the same penalties as driving with a BAC of 0.10.
If you have been arrested for a first offense DWI or for refusing to submit to a test, you will want to consult with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer. New Jersey DWI law is complicated, and a DWI conviction is expensive. You want someone on your side fighting for you, to help you put this behind you as quickly as possible.
New Jersey First Offense DWI Penalties:
In New Jersey, a DWI is your "first offense" if you have not been arrested for an alcohol-related driving offense in the past 10 years.
If you are arrested for a first offense DWI in New Jersey, you may face all the following consequences:
- $250 to $400 fine
- Up to 30 days in jail
- IDRC (see below)
- Driver's license suspension for 3 months
- $1,000 annual insurance surcharge for 3 years
- $100 Alcohol Education, Rehabilitation, and Enforcement Fund (AERF) fee
- $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund fee
- $100 Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund fee
- Ignition interlock requirement
If your BAC was 0.10, you may face stricter consequences, including:
- $300 to $500 fine
- Driver's license suspension for 7 months to 1 year
New Jersey and Ignition Interlock:
If you are convicted of a first offense DWI, you will need to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that you own or operate during your suspension and for 6 months to 1 year after your suspension.
New Jersey Intoxicated Driver Resource Center:
If you are charged with a DWI, you will be held at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). Each of New Jersey's counties has an IDRC where first time offenders are held for 12 to 48 hours. While you are there, you will attend an alcohol and safety education program and will receive an alcohol evaluation. If the center finds that you need treatment, you will be referred to a provider for a 16-week (or longer) treatment program. The IDRC program will cost you $230 per day.
DUI with Children in the Vehicle:
If you have a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle at the time of your DWI, you will be charged with a disorderly persons offense. This may result in a license suspension of 6 months and 5 days of community service.
New Jersey and Work Licenses:
At this time, New Jersey does not offer a limited, hardship, or work license. If you lose your license for a DWI, your license will remain suspended until it is fully restored.
New Jersey and SR22 Insurance:
Many states require SR22 insurance after a DWI. New Jersey is not one of these states. However, you will need to pay an insurance surcharge to the DMV of $1000 each year for 3 years. Failure to do this will result in the suspension of your driver's license.
Other New Jersey DUI Resources
New Jersey DWI Laws - A complete overview of New Jersey DWI laws including fines, jail time and penalties for each offense.
New Jersey SR22 Insurance - Learn everything you need to know about New Jersey SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your NJ SR22 insurance.
New Jersey DWI Lawyers - Contact one of our New Jersey DWI lawyers today.