Like many states, New Jersey not only has significant penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), the penalties rise steeply for second and third offenses. Among the factors driving the sharp climb in penalties is the fact that prior convictions for a DUI and previous involvement in the criminal justice system are both predictive of repeat DUI’s, according to a study sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Probation and Parole Association. The rising penalties are meant to serve as a deterrent.
- The monetary fines for a second and third offense are much higher than for a first offense. For a second DUI conviction, you may be fined as much as $500 to $1,000. (This compares with $250 to $500 for a first offense). For a third offense, the fine is $1,000.
- The potential jail sentence for a second or third DUI conviction also rises steeply. For a second offense, you may receive a term of up to 90 days in jail. (This compares with up to 30 days for a first offense.) For a third conviction, the jail sentence may be as much as 180 days.
- The license suspension period is also much greater for a second or third DUI conviction. For a second conviction, a defendant’s license may be revoked for up to 2 years. (This compares with a potential suspension of 3 months to 1 year for a first conviction.) If a defendant is convicted for a third DUI, his or her license may be suspended for 10 years.
- An ignition interlock device (IID) may be installed for any DUI conviction. An IID requires the driver to breathe into it before starting the car. If alcohol is sensed, the car will not start.
- New Jersey levies heavy fines on all defendants convicted of a DUI. The state will require a convicted defendant to pay a $100 surcharge for the drunk driving enforcement fund, a $100 motor vehicle restoration fee, a $100 violent crimes compensation fee, a $100 intoxicated driver program fee, and a $100 state and municipality fee for each conviction.
Please contact us if you need to speak with an experienced attorney.