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New Jersey DUI Law

New Jersey makes it illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any combination of the two, or to drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 or greater.


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Penalties


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First Offense:


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BAC .08 - .10:

If your BAC was between .08 and .10, the court will fine you $250 - $400 and sentence you to 12 – 48 hours to be served at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. These terms must be served during two consecutive days of not less than 6 hours a day. In addition, the court may also order up to 30 days in prison.


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The court will suspend your license for 3 months. Upon return of your license, the court will order the attachment of an ignition interlock device for a period of 6 months – 1 year. This device will prevent you from starting the vehicle while intoxicated.


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BAC Greater Than .10:

If your BAC was greater than .10 on your first offense, the court will fine you $300 - $500 and sentence you to 12 – 48 hours to be served at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. These terms must be served during two consecutive days of not less than 6 hours a day. In addition, the court may also order up to 30 days in prison.


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The court will suspend your license for 7 - 12 months. Upon return of your license, the court will order the attachment of an ignition interlock device for a period of 6 months – 1 year. This device will prevent you from starting the vehicle while intoxicated.


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Second Offense:

Upon your second conviction, the court will fine you $500 - $1,000, sentence you to up to 30 days of community service and 48 hours – 90 days in prison. Additionally, the court will suspend your license for 2 years. Upon return of your license, the court will order the attachment of an ignition interlock device for a period of 1 – 3 years.


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Third and Subsequent Offenses:

The third and subsequent offenses are punished by a $1,000 fine. The court will sentence you to a minimum of 180 days in jail. Up to 90 of these days may be served in an inpatient alcohol treatment program. Finally, the court will suspend your license for a period of 10 years. Upon returning your license, the court will order the attachment of an ignition interlock device for a period of 1 – 3 years.


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Miscellaneous Provisions


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Alcohol & Drug Screening: For all offenses, the court will order a screening and evaluation by the Division of Alcohol & Drug Abuse’s Intoxicated Driving Program Unit. There is a $100 fee that accompanies this program.


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Supervised Visitation Program:

At the courts discretion, you may be ordered to visit a Trauma Center, Care Center for Advanced Alcoholics, and/or a Morgue to see the potential effects of drunk driving. Deference is given in these programs to offenders who are under 21 years of age.


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Driving with a Minor in the Car:

If someone under the age of 17 was in the car at the time of the offense, the court will increase the license suspension period by 6 months and will impose 5 days of community service on top of all other punishments.


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Open Container Law:

It is illegal to drive with an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a car. The penalty for this is a $200 fine for the first offense. On the second offense, the fine increases to $250 and the court will impose 10 days of community service.


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Under 21


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If you are under 21 and drive with any amount of alcohol in your system (but below .08), the court will suspend your license for 30 – 90 days and impose a sentence of 15 – 30 days of community service.


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Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test


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If you refuse to submit to a blood, urine, or breath test for alcohol, the court will (on top of all other penalties) impose the following license suspensions and fines


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First Offense -

$300 - $500 and a suspension of 7 months – 1 year.


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Second Offense -

$500 - $1,000 and a suspension of 2 years.


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Third Offense -

$1,000 and a suspension of 10 years.


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All of these fines and suspension increase if the driver is in a school zone.


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First Offense, School Zone -

$600 - $1,000 and a suspension for 1 – 2 years.


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Second Offense, School Zone -

$1,000 - $2,000 and a suspension for 4 years.


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Third Offense, School Zone -

$2,000 and a suspension for 20 years.