New Jersey’s penalties for drunk driving are strict, even for a first-time offense with no special circumstances.
According to a pamphlet published by the state, a person over 21 who is facing a first-time DWI offense may have to pay a fine of up to $400 plus another $425 in mandatory fees.
They may also go to jail for up to 30 days and will have to take a 2-day class at a facility called a Driver Resource Center. Each day’s class lasts 6 hours.
A DWI conviction also can make it very expensive for a person to keep driving. They must operate with an ignition interlock device for 3 months. There are installation fees and other fees associated with ignition interlock devices.
Additionally, the state imposes a $1,000 annual fee for 3 years. This automobile insurance surcharge is in fact a state assessment. Additionally, a person’s insurance company will likely also raise their automobile insurance rates after a DWI.
Repeat offenses, a higher blood alcohol content or other aggravating circumstances like having a minor in one’s vehicle can increase the penalties.
New Jersey residents should also be aware of other fallout from a DWI
Criminal penalties are not the only consequence of a drunk driving conviction.
As is the case with other crimes, a DWI will appear on a Camden County resident’s permanent record. Depending on one’s job, the conviction may hurt a person’s professional and other opportunities.
In particular, people who drive for a living or who have to drive frequently as part of their job may not be able to continue in their line of work after even one drunk driving conviction.
The point is that no one accused of DWI should take the matter lightly. There are possible defenses available in many cases, so one accused of drunk driving should be sure to understand all the choices available to them.