New Jersey Drunk Driving Fines & Penalties

Learn about the penalties for a DUI / DWI conviction in New Jersey.

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What are the penalties for a DUI/DWI in New Jersey?

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


Up to 30 days

Up to 90 days

Up to 180 days

Fines and Penalties

$250 to $500

$500 to $1,000


License Suspension

3 months to 1 year

2 years

10 years

IID** Required




All drunk driving arrests also carry the following penalties:

  • $100 Surcharge for the drunk driving enforcement fund.
  • $100 Motor Vehicle Restoration Fee.
  • $100 Violent Crimes Compensation fee.
  • $100 Intoxicated Driver Program Fee.
  • $100 State and Municipality Fee.

Lookback Period: 10 years (Period of time that prior DUI/DWIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI/DWI in New Jersey?

Under 21


21 or older




** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn't let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in New Jersey?

New Jersey has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about New Jersey’s implied consent law.


1st Offense

2d Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

7 month license revocation

2 year license revocation

10 year license revocation

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI/DWI in New Jersey?

A defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. There is no statutory provision on whether a wet reckless plea bargain will be accepted in New Jersey, but it's possible a lawyer may be able to create a plea bargain for you.

New DUI Laws in New Jersey

New Jersey imposed the installation of an IID on the car of anyone convicted of a DUI who has restricted driving privilege. The device must be installed and maintained for the duration of the restricted privilege.

Also in July, 2010, New Jersey’s state Supreme Court ruled that non-English speaking drivers should be provided a translation of the statement of consequences for those who refuse an alcohol breath test.

Drinking and Driving Laws in New Jersey

In the State of New Jersey it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or above. The .08 limit is the standard measurement of the legally "impaired" driver across the United States. New Jersey has lower BAC limits for drivers of commercial vehicles and minors under the age of 21. The State of New Jersey also has laws that prohibit driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) and driving while possessing drugs. The penalties for possessing and driving with drugs are similar to driving under the influence of alcohol.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in New Jersey? Predicting how many drinks it will take you to reach the .08 percent BAC limit with certainty is almost impossible. There are charts and calculators that can provide a reasonable reference based on body weight and the amount of time that has passed between drinks, but there are other variables that these devices do not consider that could also impact your BAC score.

The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of New Jersey has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in New Jersey, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

The first time you are convicted of drunk driving in New Jersey you will be fined between $250 and $400. Your license will be suspended for up to 3 months and you would face up to 30 days in jail. You will also have to spend a minimum of 6 hours a day for 2 consecutive days in an intoxicated driver resource center. You will also have to pay an automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for the following 3 years.

The second arrest and conviction for drunk driving in the State of New Jersey will cost you between $500 and $1,000 for the initial fine. You will also be imprisoned for up to 90 days and have your license suspended from 7 months to 1 year. You will also have to spend a minimum of 6 hours a day for 2 consecutive days in an intoxicated driver resource center and pay an automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for the following 3 years.

The 3rd time you are arrested in New Jersey for drunk driving you will be fined $1,000. Your drivers license will be suspended for 10 years and you will spend 180 days in Jail. You will also be ordered to pay an automobile insurance surcharge of $1,500 a year for the following 3 years.

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