For your first DUI charge in New Jersey, you should expect fines, community service, the installation an Ignition Interlock Device in your car, and a license suspension (see list below for specific penalties.) Your arrest will most likely be for a misdemeanor offense, and you might be placed on some type of probation. However, the court very well may order you to serve time. In either case, every state in the union will suspend your license for a period of time. Yes, even for your first DUI offense.

You can take control of your own case now, though, by taking immediate action. A DUI arrest triggers an action by the DMV against your license, as well as a criminal case against you in the court. As soon as you’re released from the police station, you will be given a series of tickets; usually you’ll be charged with a DUI or DWI, possibly a school zone charge, possibly with having a child in the vehicle while you’ve been drinking. Reckless or careless driving is frequently also charged, and then the ticket for which you’d initially been pulled over: speeding, or driving in the wrong lane, for example.

So, what do you do now?

Get a lawyer. The penalties associated with a First Offense DWI or DUI are serious and differ widely depending on the circumstances. Navigating these waters without an experienced attorney can be extremely difficult. Even your first DUI arrest can have a significant effect on your criminal history, your finances, and your employment opportunities.

Do not take the charge lightly, just because it’s your first DUI arrest. We can help you get an attorney who specializes in DUI charges who can help you get in front of many of the issues associated with your DUI charge. Depending on your history, you may be able to apply for an occupational driver’s license or a hardship license so that you can still drive to work and school. Conditions of probation for a DUI charge usually include a substantial fine, court costs, probation fees, and urinalysis fees. You will also be required to attend and complete drug and alcohol counseling and community service hours.

Listed here are the penalties in New Jersey for driving under the influence; they vary according to BAC level and how many times you’ve been caught:

First offense with BAC of 0.08% but less than 0.10%:

  • License suspension: 3 months
  • Imprisonment: Maximum 30 days
  • Fine: $250 to $400
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): Mandatory 12 to 48 hours
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) Fee: $230
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund Fee: $100
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75
  • Surcharges: $1,000 per year for 3 years.

For a first offense with BAC of 0.10% or higher:

  • License suspension: 7 to 12 months
  • Imprisonment: Maximum 30 days
  • Fine: $300 to $500
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): Mandatory 12 to 48 hours
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) Fee: $230
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund Fee: $100
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75
  • Surcharges: $1,000 per year for 3 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): Six months to 1 year after license is restored if BAC was 0.15% or over.

As you can see, there is a lot to deal with, but if you want to quickly regain your license after it’s been suspended, you can take action to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed while your case is pending. At Interlock Device of New Jersey, we provide services to NJ drivers throughout the state. If your driving privileges have been suspended, we are here to help you get your driver’s license restored quickly and painlessly. Once the interlock device is installed in your car, you are free to visit any one of our New Jersey locations as needed.