First Offense DUI Penalties in New Jersey

New Jersey is making strides in DUI enforcement but according to a report released by MADD in 2010, the state still falls short of expectations. Garnering only two out of a possible five stars, the organization obviously thinks there is still significant work that needs to be done. However, the downward trend in DUI fatalities from 2002 to 2012 (down by 18.4 percent) at least shows that New Jersey is headed in the right direction.

New Jersey DUI by the Numbers (based on 2012 statistics)

  • 164 fatalities, 18 of which were underage drivers
  • 18.4% 10-year improvement (under 21 improved by 23.5%)
  • 64.5% of fatal crashes involved a driver with a BAC of .15+
  • 83.3% of fatal crashes involved repeat offenders
  • 25,697 total arrests (229 of which were under the age of 18)

The most disturbing of these numbers is the repeat offender percentage. By simply looking at these numbers, it is clear why MADD thinks New Jersey needs tougher first-time offense penalties to dissuade repeat offenders, especially concerning first-time offenders exceeding a blood alcohol content of .15 percent.

New Jersey First Offense DUI Penalties and Fines

One area where MADD has recommended an improvement in the New Jersey DUI penalties is the need for a mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) on the first offense. Currently, for all violations, installation is at the discretion of the judge, not mandatory. Below you will find a summary of all fines and penalties for first time offenders:

  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • Fines ranging from $250 to $500
  • Mandatory license suspension from three months to one year
  • IID installation at the discretion of the judge
  • Additional $500 in fines ($100 each for various funds and fees)

New Jersey is also an implied consent state. Anyone refusing to take the mandated chemical test will automatically receive a 7-month license suspension regardless of the outcome of the case in court.

Do You Need a New Jersey DUI Attorney for a First Offense?

We always recommend an attorney when it comes to legal matters such as this. It is very difficult to know all legalities unless you actually have a legal background. Furthermore, in New Jersey, there is a chance of being able to plead to a lesser charge, known as wet reckless, which could result in a reduction of charges, fines, and penalties. For more information regarding NJ DUI laws, a free case evaluation, and information on local attorneys, please fill out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form Now!

Taryn J. White

About Taryn J. White

Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.

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