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How drunk driving is punished in New Jersey

In the state of New Jersey, any blood alcohol content (BAC) that is 0.08 percent or higher is considered to be indicative of an individual's degree of intoxication. The state takes the crime of driving under the influence (DUI) very seriously. As a result, the penalties you are sure to face if convicted of the crime are particularly harsh.

First time offenders with BACs of 0.10 percent or higher are subject to having their license suspended for at least seven months and must pay in excess of $4,000 in fines and fees. Depending on how elevated their BAC is, they also may be sentenced to as much as 30 days in jail and have to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle for as much as a year after their license is reinstated.

For those who blow a BAC between 0.08 and 0.10 percent, while they're subject to same fines and jail sentence that their more intoxicated peers are, there are some differences as well. They only face having their license suspended for up to three months and they're not required to install an ignition interlock device on their cars once their suspension has lapsed.

When it comes to those who have repeatedly violated the state's DUI laws, they are punished much more severely. Anyone who has been convicted of DUI twice in the past ten years should expect to be assessed up to $5,000 in fines and fees and spend up to 90 days in jail.

They also will have to install an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle for up to three years after their license is once again restored. They may be ordered to serve up to 30 days of community service as well.

In contrast, a third conviction within a 10 year timeframe carries a 10 year suspension of that individual's driver's license and more than $6,000 in fines. That person may also be required to spend up to 180 days in jail and to complete 90 days of community service. The ignition interlock requirements are the same for third time offenders as they are for second time ones.

DUI is a crime that is taken very seriously by prosecutors in New Jersey. If you've been charged with an alcohol-related crime, then you may want to discuss your case with a Union County, New Jersey DUI defense attorney.

Source: New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, "DUI: Driving Under the Influence," accessed June 30, 2017

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