DUI DWI Penalties

DUI DWI Penalties

In the state of New Jersey, the penalties for driving or operating heavy machinery under the influence of alcohol and drugs includes fines, imprisonment terms and loss of driver’s license for a period of time.

If you are facing such charges, enlist the representation of expert lawyers such as we have in our DUI/DWI specialist legal team at Zapicchi & Liller. We can help you get the charges dismissed, or negotiate more lenient penalties in the worst case scenario.

The severity of penalties imposed on a person depends on a number of different factors, which are discussed in detail below.


First Time DWI Offense

First time offenders with >0.8% and <0.10% BAC level DWI on conviction will get their driver’s license suspended for 90 days, get a fine of between $250 and $400, attend and participate in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centre for 12-48 hours. Depending on the facts of the case, the judge may issue a jail term not exceeding thirty days.

First-time offenders whose blood alcohol content was in excess of 0.10% on conviction are looking at 7-12 months license suspension, fines of $300-$500. The IDRC participation from above is mandatory, along with jail time for up to thirty days.

DWI Second Offense

More severe penalties are instituted for second convictions, including fines of $500-$1,000, thirty days mandatory community service, mandatory DWI jail time of between 2-30 days and 12-48 hours of IDRC participation.

In addition, the court will require installation of an Ignition Interlock Device during suspension and for 1-3 years following restoration. Second offenders are also subject to $1,000 surcharge for three years.

Third and subsequent convictions carry license suspensions of up to ten years, a fine of $1,000, 90 days community service, up to 180 days imprisonment and 12-48 hours IDRC participation. Insurance surcharges of $1,500 annually are also applicable.

DWI Driving Record

Refusing a BAC Test

Refusing a chemical test to establish BAC of drug content can lead to an additional charge. The penalties for this are as follows:

  • First-time refusal – 7-12 months license suspension, fines of $300-$500 and minimum 12 hours IDRC participation
  • Second-time refusal – 2 years license suspension, fines of $500-$1,000 and minimum 12 hours IDRC participation
  • Third and subsequent refusals – 10 years license suspension, $1,000 fine and minimum 12 hours IDRC participation

These penalties are issued in addition to any other penalties given for a DUI/DWI conviction, which is a separate charge.

Insurance Points

DWI Driving Record

Insurance Points

A guilty plea or successful conviction for DUI/DWI charges leads to an addition of a whopping nine insurance points to your driving record. These are different from the MVC points issued for traffic offenses.

Insurance points are used by insurers to measure whether or not they will insure your vehicle, and the premiums you’ll pay if the former applies. When a person has too many insurance points, they are likely to be turned away by virtually all insurers. Since having insurance is mandatory, such a person will have to buy insurance though the Personal Automobile Insurance Plan which is more expensive.

Refusing a BAC Test