First Offense DWI/DUI in New Jersey

New Jersey imposes criminal and administrative penalties for those convicted of a first-time DUI. Note that under New Jersey’s implied consent laws, offenders refusing to submit to a breathalyzer, first offense, face seven months of license revocation.

Administrative Penalties

License suspension. Conviction of first offense DWI in New Jersey results in three months of administrative license suspension. If blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than .10, offenders face administrative license suspension of seven months to one year in certain instances.

Reinstatement of license requires attendance at two days (six hours per day) of Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, payment of annual DWI surcharge of $1,000 for three years, payment of reinstatement fees, and possibly, installation of an ignition interlock device.

Criminal Penalties

How Much Will it Cost?

To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.

First offense DWI offenders in New Jersey face:

  • jail time of up to thirty days.
  • alcohol/substance abuse assessment, as well as attendance at alcohol and driving awareness program
  • fines for first offense range from a minimum of $250 to not more than $400 for offenders with BAC in range of above .08 to less than .10, and offenders with BAC above .10 face fines ranging from $300 to $500. Fine amounts do not include annual DWI surcharge (set at $1,000 annually for three years) or other DWI fees

Conviction of first offense influences charges and sentencing of subsequent offenses for a period of ten years.

Pleading and Getting Legal Help

New Jersey does not prohibit reduction of DWI charges into lesser criminal convictions, and in turn, defendants are free to use case-specific elements and the representation of legal counsel to negotiate a favorable plea option, possibly reducing the charge to a non-criminal offense. For more information consult with a New Jersey DWI lawyer.

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