Drunk driving is serious–if you choose to get behind the wheel after drinking, you put yourself and others in jeopardy. Driving when you’re drunk is not only illegal but dangerous. Motor vehicle crashes involving drunk drivers claim the lives of 10,000 people each year nationwide.
Many people underestimate the consequences of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) but being pulled over and charged with DWI is scary and potentially life-altering. If you are found guilty and convicted, you face stiff fines and penalties, and a conviction could affect your job and reputation–both personally and professionally.
DWI penalties are tough in New Jersey
DWI laws in New Jersey are strict, even at your first offense. If you’re a repeat offender, the fines and jail time increase significantly. Knowing the ramifications can help you to make safer choices–before you go out for the night.
If you’re found to be guilty, you face serious consequences:
- Costly fines from $250-$1000.
- Jail time from twelve hours to 180 days.
- Suspension of your driver’s license for a minimum of three months, plus the fee to have it reinstated.
- Community service at the discretion of the court.
- An insurance surcharge of $1000 per year.
- Participation in a remedial education program, plus the associated fees.
- The installation of an ignition interlock system in your vehicle. This is possible at your first offense (court’s discretion) but mandatory after your second offense for a minimum one year.
- Other charges and fees at your second and subsequent convictions.
In addition, if you’re caught driving drunk in or near a school zone, the fines and jail time increase as does having a minor under 18 in your car at the time of your arrest.
Even a small amount of alcohol can impair your driving and affect your judgment. Besides keeping yourself safe, these fines and penalties are even more reason to make responsible decisions before you drive–designate a sober driver before you get to the party.