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New Jersey DUI Laws & Penalties

New Jersey DUI/DWI law states that it is against the law for any person to operate or be in physical control of a motorized vehicle in the state of New Jersey while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants or any combination thereof with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater.

It is not necessary for a person who is stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence in New Jersey to show the typical signs of impairment one would expect to see in someone who has been consuming alcohol or drugs, just the fact that that person's BAC level is above the legal limit of .08% or greater will get you arrested for DUI/DWI in New Jersey.

A person can still be arrested and charged with DUI/DWI in New Jersey even if their BAC level is below the legal limit just by displaying signs of impairment that are consistent with driving under the influence.

Even before an officer stops someone on suspicion of driving under the influence, the officer is already starting to build a case against that individual starting with observing the individual's driving behavior prior to initiating a DUI stop.  The officer is going to be observing whether or not you are swerving within your own lane or whether or not you are swerving over the lane markers.

He will also be looking for other signs like excessively wide turns, how you are maintaining your speed versus the posted speed limit and other various observations.  All of this is going on even before the officer initiates a DUI stop.

When you are stopped the officer is going to start by asking the obvious questions as to whether or not you've been drinking and then the officer will proceed into asking you to perform some field sobriety tests.  It is not required by law that you submit to the field sobriety tests, you have every right to kindly refuse to submit to them.

You are however, required by New Jersey implied consent law to submit to a chemical test.  If you refuse to submit to a chemical test the arresting officer must inform you of the penalties for a test refusal and then ask you a second time if you will submit to a chemical test.

Every driver who holds a New Jersey driver's license has agreed to the states implied consent law when they initially accepted their New jersey driver's license.  Basically the implied consent law says that if you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence you shall submit to a chemical test to check for alcohol, drugs or intoxicants in your body.

Refusal to submit to a chemical test will result in an automatic suspension of your license for a period of 1-year following a first offense refusal, a second offense refusal will result in an automatic 2-year suspension and a third offense refusal will result in your license being suspended for 10-years.

New Jersey First Offense DUI/DWI

The penalties and fines for a New Jersey first offense DUI/DWI are as follows:

Jail time:  The maximum jail sentence for a first offense conviction is 30 days.  The actual amount of jail time served, if any will be at the courts discretion.

Fines:  The fines for a first offense conviction for a BAC level above .08%, but less than .10% is between $250 and $400 plus applicable court costs. The fines for a first offense conviction for a BAC of .10% or greater is between $300 and $500 plus applicable court costs.

You will also have to pay additional fees totaling $1,325, $50 goes to VCCB, $100 goes to DDEF, $75 goes to SNSF, $1,000 for DUI (for 3-years), and $100 is a general surcharge.

License Suspension:  As long as you submitted to a chemical test your license will be suspended for 3-months.  If you refused the chemical test, your license will be suspended for 1-year.

Before the DMV will reinstate your license following your suspension period you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New Jersey SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability coverage limits.

Ignition Interlock:  First time offenders may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for between 6-months and 1-year. If an IID is required the MVC will require proof of the installation prior to reinstating your license.

Alcohol Treatment:  You may be required to participate in an intoxicated driver resource center or IDRC for 12 to 48 hours.  The cost for the IDRC treatment will be $230 per day at your expense.

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New Jersey Second Offense DUI/DWI

The penalties and fines for a New Jersey second offense DUI/DWI are as follows:

Jail time:  The minimum jail sentence for a second offense is 48 consecutive hours and the maximum jail sentence for a second offense conviction is 90 days.  The minimum jail sentence of 48 hours cannot be suspended by the court.  The actual amount of jail time served beyond the mandatory minimum, if any will be at the courts discretion.

Fines:  The fines for a second offense conviction are between $500 and $1,000 plus applicable court costs.

You will also have to pay additional fees totaling $1,325, $50 goes to VCCB, $100 goes to DDEF, $75 goes to SNSF, $1,000 for DUI (for 3-years), and $100 is a general surcharge.

License Suspension:  Your driver's license will be suspended for 2-years following a second offense conviction.

Before the DMV will reinstate your license following your suspension period you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New Jersey SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability coverage limits.

Ignition Interlock:  Second time offenders may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for between 1-year and 3-years.  If an IID is required the MVC will require proof of the installation prior to reinstating your license.

Community Service:  You will be required to perform 30 days of community service as part of your second offense conviction.

Alcohol Treatment:  You may be required to participate in an intoxicated driver resource center or IDRC for 12 to 48 hours.  The cost for the IDRC treatment will be $280 per day at your expense.

New Jersey Third or Subsequent Offense DUI/DWI

The penalties and fines for a New Jersey third or subsequent offense DUI/DWI are as follows:

Jail time:  The minimum jail sentence for a third or subsequent offense is 180 days, of which the court may order you to serve 90 days of the sentence participating in a drug and alcohol inpatient rehab program approved by the IDRC.

Fines:  The fines for a third or subsequent offense conviction are $1,000 plus applicable court costs.

You will also have to pay additional fees totaling $1,825, $50 goes to VCCB, $100 goes to DDEF, $75 goes to SNSF, $1,500 for DUI (for 3-years), and $100 is a general surcharge.

License Suspension:  Your driver's license will be suspended for 10-years following a third or subsequent offense conviction.

Before the DMV will reinstate your license following your suspension period you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New Jersey SR22 policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability coverage limits.

Ignition Interlock:  Third or subsequent time offenders may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for between 1-year and 3-years.  If an IID is required the MVC will require proof of the installation prior to reinstating your license.

Community Service:  You will be required to perform 90 days of community service.

Alcohol Treatment:  You may be required to participate in an intoxicated driver resource center or IDRC for 12 to 48 hours.  The cost for the IDRC treatment will be $280 per day at your expense.

New Jersey CDL DUI

A person operating a commercial motor vehicle in the state of New Jersey while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or greater or failing to submit to a chemical test will be arrested for DUI and your CDL will be revoked for a period of 1-year following a first offense violation.

If you were carrying hazardous materials at the time, your CDL will be revoked for 3-years. A second offense violation will result in a permanent CDL revocation, you will never be able to drive or operate a CMV again.  A CMV operator stopped and found to have any measurable amount of alcohol less than .04% in their system will be issued an "out-of-service" notice and will not be allowed to drive for the next 24-hours.

New Jersey DUI Under 21 Years of Age

Your license may be suspended for 30 to 90 days for a first offense violation.  You may also have perform community service for 15 to 30 days for a first offense and attend an intoxicated driver resource center program.

Second or subsequent time offenders under the age of 21 will have their license revoked for a period of time to be determined by the MVC.

If a person under 21 is arrested for having a BAC of .08% or greater they will face the same charges as someone over 21 would be facing for the same offense.

New Jersey SR22 Requirements

Before the New Jersey MVC will reinstate your license following your suspension or revocation period, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your New Jersey SR22 insurance coverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the New Jersey MVC of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the New Jersey MVC will immediately revoke your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the MVC before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of New Jersey and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in New Jersey for any less.Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other New Jersey DUI Resources

  • New Jersey First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.

  • New Jersey SR22 Insurance Filing - We have compiled everything you need to know about NJ's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • New Jersey DUI Education Classes - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI education classes listed by County.

  • New Jersey Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of NJ's bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.

  • New Jersey DUI Courts - Comprehensive list of NJ's criminal courts listed by County.

  • Jails in New Jersey - Comprehensive list of NJ's jails and contact information.