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Photo of Craig R. Fishman

Tried And True Attorneys Standing Up For The Injured Since 1965

The consequences of a DWI: More than just fines and jail time

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | DWI/DUI Defense |

A conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey can lead to some severe penalties. Violators can expect at the very least jail time and hefty fines because DWI is a criminal offense.

However, there’s more to a DWI than just imprisonment and fees. This blog will list down some of the other consequences a driver faces following a conviction for driving while impaired.

License suspension

After a conviction for DWI, the New Jersey DMV will suspend the convicted person’s driver’s license. This suspension lasts for three months for a first offense and can extend to up to a year for a second offense.

Alternatively, a driver can have their license suspended if they refuse a breathalyzer test during a traffic stop.

Ignition interlock device

Following the suspension of a person’s driver’s license for DWI, a court may also order the driver to install an ignition interlock device (IID) as part of the license restoration process. An IID prevents a vehicle from starting unless your breath alcohol level is below a certain point.

The installation of an IID is not for free; the driver must pay for the installation and the rental fees. This can be costly, as courts can order drivers to use IIDs for up to a year.

Alcohol education and treatment

The court can order a convicted driver to attend a two-day Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program. Offenders will receive mandatory alcohol and highway safety education training during the program. The IDRC will also screen offenders to determine if they have any addiction problems that need treatment.

Insurance surcharge

It’s not enough that a driver has to pay fines for a DWI – they are also required to pay an automobile insurance surcharge. This surcharge is a $1,000 annual payment for three years.

DWIs lead to more than just fines and jail time – they’re much costlier, carry administrative penalties, and force the driver to undergo safety education. If you face charges, understand that you’ll face a host of penalties on conviction. Consider working with a legal professional who may be able to help build your defense in court.