New Jersey Changes DWI Law For First-Time Offenders

New Jersey Changes DWI Law For First-Time Offenders

New Jersey has recently changed its DWI laws regarding first-offender DWIs to better suit the nature of the crime. The new law is set to go into effect on December 1, 2019. Please read on to learn more about the landmark change, and how it may affect you.

What are the consequences of a first-time DWI in New Jersey?

The law used to be that first-time DWI offenders would receive a 3-month license suspension. However, a noticeable trend began to emerge. People would receive a 3-month suspension, lose their job due to lack of mobility, and then continue the vicious cycle of drinking, perhaps even while driving. Now, New Jersey is revising the punishment to better reflect the crime, as well as provide first-time offenders with an option: either take the punishment, learn from their mistake, and move on, or continue down the path that got them here. If this is your first-offense DWI with a BAC of 0.08-0.10% in the state of New Jersey, here are some of the penalties you may face under the new law:

  • Mandatory installation and use of the ignition interlock device for 3-6 months
  • 30-day license suspension
  • $250-$500 fine
  • 12-48 hours at the New Jersey Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (or IDRC)
  • Up to 30 days of incarceration

First-time offenders with a BAC of 0.10%-0.15% will install and use the ignition interlock device for 6 months to a year and receive a 45-day license suspension. First-time offenders with a BAC over 0.15% will face a 90-day license suspension and a mandatory installation and use of the interlock device for 12-18 months.

What are the penalties for a second-offense New Jersey DWI?

If this is your second DWI offense within 10 years, the New Jersey courts will now treat you as a repeat offender. Here are some of the penalties you may face:

  • Up to 90 days of incarceration
  • 2-year license suspension
  • $500-$1000 fine
  • 12-48 hours in New Jersey’s Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • $100 to the Drunk Driving Fund
  • $75 to the Neighborhood Services Fund
  • Installation and use of the ignition interlock device

What are the consequences of a third or subsequent DWI offense in New Jersey?

If this is your third or subsequent DWI offense, you cannot wait to hire an attorney. You are now facing an extended period of jail time, which can drastically affect your ability to get a job, rent a home, and more. You may face the following:

  • Up to 180 days of incarceration
  • 10-year license suspension
  • $1,500 surcharge each year for 3 years
  • 12-48 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • $100 to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund
  • $100 to the Drunk Driving Fund
  • $75 Neighborhood Services Fund
  • $1000 fine
  • Installation and use of the ignition interlock device

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

Thomas DeMarco & Associates, LLC is an experienced Camden County criminal defense law firm located in Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey. We understand how potentially damaging a criminal can be, which is why we pride ourselves in our willingness to fight for our client’s rights. Our firm handles all criminal matters and is ready to provide you with our knowledgeable legal counsel. Do not hesitate to contact our firm to discuss your legal situation.

Read Our Latest Blog Posts

  •  What are the Penalties for Drug DWIs in New Jersey?
  •  What are the Consequences of a Marijuana-Related Offense in New Jersey?
  •  New Jersey Changes DWI Law For First-Time Offenders