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New Jersey penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol

The offense of driving under the influence of alcohol carries grave consequences that could affect a driver's life in a considerable and enduring way. Upon conviction, even first-time offenders will lose their driving privileges for up to one year if their blood alcohol content level registered at .10 percent or higher. The court may also require offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for up to one year after license restoration.

Drivers convicted of a DUI-related offense may face incarceration as well. For a first offense, the court may assess an offender up to 30 days in prison. Repeat offenders may spend up to 90 days in prison. Moreover, the offender may be required to complete community service as well as 12 to 48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.

In any case, offenders may face hundreds if not thousands of dollars in fines. Repeat offenders may be assessed up to $1000 in fines along with payments of $100 to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund, $100 to the state's drunk-driving fund and $75 to the Neighborhood Services Fund. Furthermore, offenders must pay a $280 fee to the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. The fines may also come with a surcharge of $1,000.

It is illegal for any driver in New Jersey to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .08 percent. That is why motorists suspected of drunk driving may be administered a chemical sobriety test, such as a blood or breath test, which measures their blood alcohol content. However, the equipment used to administer these tests is not infallible. Nor are the officials who administer the tests. That is why it is critical for people accused of drunk driving to retain the counsel and representation of a criminal defense lawyer to help build a defense against the DUI charges.

Source: State of New Jersey, "DUI: Driving Under the Influence", September 19, 2014

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New Jersey penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol | The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud