The impact of being convicted of a DWI in the state of New Jersey includes the following: an arrest, fines, driving restrictions, increases in insurance premiums and potential jail time or community service. No one wants to experience a DWI conviction. It is very costly, in more ways than one.
The conviction of a DWI in New Jersey means that a person is found guilty by the court of law while driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. If the driver's BAC is 0.08% or above after a breathalyzer test or if they are found to have drugs in their system through a blood or urine test, the driver is likely to face a DWI conviction. However, the penalties of a DWI conviction can be lessened with proper legal representation, whether it is your first, second or even third charge.
The New Jersey Statutes of DWI Conviction
New Jersey DWI violations can include fines, jail time, participation in the intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC), a period of drivers license suspension and installation of an ignition interlock device. The level of punishment varies depending on how many prior DWI convictions an individual has experienced as well as the facts of the current DWI charge. Let's review DWI violations and the potential impact each can have.
First DWI Violation - N.J.S.A. 39.4-50(a)(1)
BAC of 0.08%-0.09%
The fine for a first time DWI conviction ranges from $250 to $400 if the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is between 0.08%-0.09%. In addition to paying fines, there are costs for towing your vehicle from the scene of the traffic stop, as well as insurance surcharges of $1,000 a year for three years. The New Jersey DWI statutes also require that the defendant be ordered to attend twelve to forty-eight hours at the intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC). Although jail time is not mandatory for a first time DWI offense, one can be order to a maximum of thirty days in jail for a first DWI conviction. Lastly, as expected, an individual's driver's license will be suspended upon being convicted of DWI. For a first DWI violation, a three month suspension is required. Once the driver's license is restored, a judge can also require that they have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle for six months to one year.
BAC of 0.10% or higher
The penalties for a first DWI violation are different based on the BAC results. If the blood alcohol concentration is 0.10% or higher, the fines increase to $300 to $500. Just as with a first offense with a BAC of less than 0.10%, the defendant will be required to attend the IDRC for twelve to forty-eight hours and could potentially serve up to thirty days in jail. The drivers license suspension is imposed for a longer period, though, ranging from seven months to one year. Once the driver's license is restored, a judge may require that they have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle for six months to one year. This involves an added cost to the defendant for installation and maintenance of the device. The installation of the interlock device on the defendant's vehicle is required for a first time DWI offense if his or her BAC level is 0.15% or higher. In this situation, a judge will require that the driver install the device during the time of license suspension and for six months to one year after the restoration of driving privileges.
Second DWI Violation - N.J.S.A. 39.4-50(a)(2)
A second DWI conviction involves a fine of between $500 to $1,000. Jail time will be ordered for forty-eight hours to ninety days and the defendant's driver's license will be suspended for two years. The same insurance surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years is required for a second DWI conviction, and the twelve to forty-eight hour time at the IDRC is included in the sentencing. A second DWI violation will include thirty days of community service, which is different from a first time offense. An ignition interlock device will be ordered by the judge to be installed on the driver's vehicle during the period of license suspension in addition to between one and three years following restoration of the driving privileges.
Third or Subsequent DWI Violation - N.J.S.A. 39.4-50(a)(3)
A third or subsequent DWI conviction in New Jersey will involve severe penalties for the defendant. The fine will increase to a mandatory amount of $1,000 and the insurance surcharges are raised to $1,500 per year for three years. Jail time will be mandatory for 180 days if convicted of DWI for the third or more time and the defendant's driver's license will be suspended for ten years. The same twelve to forty-eight hour time at the IDRC is included in the sentencing as with all DWI's. Lastly, the ignition interlock device will be ordered by the judge to be installed on the driver's vehicle during the period of license suspension in addition to between one and three years following restoration of the driving privileges.
Hire a DWI Attorney to Avoid the Harsh Impact of a DWI Conviction
New Jersey DWI violations and their penalties can be very costly and have a huge impact on a driver's life. Call experienced DWI lawyers who can review the case and look for details that may help lower your penalties. Contact the Villani & DeLuca DWI defense attorneys in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey for legal advice and representation concerning your DWI charge. We provide legal services in Ocean County and Monmouth County and your initial consultation is free! Call 732-965-3999 to have one of our skilled DWI Attorneys review your pending charges!