The criminal penalties for even one drunk driving conviction in New Jersey are steep.
With no aggravating circumstances like an accident, a first-time offender will have to pay a fine and will also face up to 30 days in jail.
Even if jail is off the table, at a minimum, a person will have to devote 6 hours a day for 2 consecutive days to an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
The person will also face an annual $1,000 fee for 3 years.
With respect to driving privilege, the person will have to drive with an ignition interlock device, installed at their expense, for 3 months. The time of this restriction is longer even if a person has as low as .10 blood alcohol content. Until the person installs the device, his license is suspended.
In short, for an average resident of Northern New Jersey, a conviction for a DWI is expensive and time-consuming. The person also will have to deal with a criminal conviction on their record and may have to pay significantly higher insurance premiums.
It is worth pointing out that New York also has strict laws against drunk driving.
Many people face additional consequences after driving drunk
There are many people who live in or travel to Northern New Jersey and who, professionally speaking, simply cannot afford even one drunk driving conviction.
A good example is a person who requires a commercial driver’s license in order to make a living. Truck drivers and others who are convicted of drunk driving, in addition to any other penalties, will lose commercial driving privileges for 1 year for a first offense.
Without a valid commercial license, a professional driver will find it difficult to stay employed or do independent work.
Other professionals should consult the rules of their profession or trade to see if a DWI will affect their licensing status.
Anyone facing a DWI case should consider all available legal options, including the possibility of defending against the charge.