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What to Know About DWIs in New Jersey This Holiday Season

2020 was a rough year and many of us will be celebrating its end this New Year’s Eve. For many people, this celebration will involve drinking. This becomes an issue when some of these party-goers get behind the wheel and attempt to drive drunk. Driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous for you, your passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers on the road. Because driving while intoxicated is so hazardous, it carries steep penalties. If you or a loved one is charged with a DWI this New Year’s Eve, you will need to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. Read on to learn more about DWIs in New Jersey.

First Offense

DWI penalties are based on your blood alcohol content (BAC) and your previous offenses. If you are pulled over with a BAC between .08-.09% and no prior DWI charges, you will face:

  • License suspension until the date of installation of the ignition interlock device, then the interlock device remains on the vehicle for 3 months
  • A $250-$500 fine
  • 12-48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Up to 30 days of jail time

It is important to note that these penalties will differ if you are under 21 years old, or if your BAC is .10% or above.

Second Offense

If an individual is convicted of a second DWI within 10 years of the previous offense, he or she may face the following consequences:

  • Up to 90 days of jail time
  • A 1-2 year loss of license
  • Interlock device installation during the term of license suspension
  • 2-4 years interlock installation after privileges restored
  • A $1000 yearly surcharge for 3 years
  • 48 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • A $500-$1000 fine
  • A $100 Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund fee
  • A $100 Drunk Driving Fund fee
  • A $75 Neighborhood Services Fund fee

Third Offense

For a third or subsequent DWI, the penalties include:

  • Up to 180 days of jail time
  • An 8-year loss of license with an interlock installed during that time
  • 2-4 years with an interlock device after privileges are restored
  • A $1500 yearly surcharge for 3 years
  • A $1000 fine
  • A $100 Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund fee
  • A $100 Drunk Driving Fund fee
  • A $75 Neighborhood Services fund fee

If you are charged with a DWI, contact our firm today. We will explore all of your options and fight to challenge your DWI charges.


Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.

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