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What are the penalties for DWI in New Jersey?

Driving while intoxicated is a costly conviction in New Jersey. Drivers found guilty of DWI can receive thousands of dollars in fines, lose their licenses and serve jail time.

Review the New Jersey DWI penalties before facing a court date for this offense.

First offense

For a first-time conviction in which the driver had blood alcohol content of 0.08% to 0.10% at the time of arrest, he or she could receive:

  • A surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years for auto insurance
  • At least 12 hours over two days at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Ignition interlock device required for three months
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • A fine of $250 to $400 plus hundreds in court costs

A first-time DWI with BAC above 0.10% carries elevated penalties.

Second offense

A second DWI conviction results in these penalties:

  • A surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years for auto insurance
  • Substance use evaluation at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and referral for services if indicated
  • License suspension for at least one year and up to two years
  • Ignition interlock device required for two to three years
  • At least 48 hours and up to 90 days in jail
  • A fine of $500 to $1,000 plus hundreds in court costs
  • 30 days of community service

Additional DWI-associated penalties in New Jersey may apply. For example, the state may charge a driver with DWI with a minor in the vehicle, on a suspended license, before age 21 or with an open container.

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