If someone is caught drinking and driving, they could be charged for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and could face serious consequences. The consequences that they may face depend on a number of factors though. One of the factors is how high their BAC was at the time they were driving. Another main factor is whether it was their first DWI or whether they had prior ones.
This post will focus on the penalties for people who are charged with their first DWI.
BAC between .08% and .10%
People who have a BAC between .08% and .10% may be fined between $250 and $400. Jail time is at the discretion of the Judge, but it cannot exceed 30 days. People will also have their driver’s license suspended for three months. They will also be ordered to complete a 12-hour intoxicated driver class at a minimum. People may also be ordered to install ignition interlock in their vehicle for a period of time.
BAC at or above .10%
If people have a BAC at or above .10%, the fine is increased and may be between $300 and $500, but the potential jail time stays the same. The driver’s license suspension also increases to between seven months and one year. People may also be ordered to complete an intoxicated driver class between 12 and 48 hours as well as potentially being ordered to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles.
The penalties for a first-time DWI in New Jersey can be significant. However, people will only face these penalties if they are convicted of the crime. Being charged does not mean that people are automatically guilty. There may be defenses available to people which can help them avoid these potential consequences. Experienced attorneys understand the defenses and could help protect one’s rights.