Now that you are facing a DWI charge, you are probably wondering where you are going to come up with the nearly $10,000 you may need to meet your obligations if you are convicted. That’s right – a DWI conviction can end up costing you about $10,000, including fines and legal fees. The more immediate question for you may be, “How will I come up with the money if I can’t drive to work?”
If your DWI arrest has resulted in the forfeiture of your driver’s license, or if the charges you face carry an extended license suspension as part of the usual sentence, you have a legitimate concern. Losing your license can create a domino effect, leading to job loss, depression and financial consequences from which your whole family may suffer.
The benefits of the interlock system
Since 2015, New Jersey has been considering variations of a law to limit the amount of time you would lose your license for a DWI conviction. Following a shortened period of license suspension, you would be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. States who have imposed the interlock requirement have noticed the following benefits:
- A reduction in repeat DWIs by 70 percent
- An immediate reduction in DWI accidents
- Up to 50 percent reduction in DWI fatalities
Currently, New Jersey law would suspend your license for up to seven months. A revised DWI bill suggests that the time be reduced to between 30 and 90 days, followed by mandatory ignition interlock. Writers of the bill and safety advocates want mandatory ignition interlock for everyone convicted of DWI, even if it is your first offense.
Moving toward a positive resolution
The ignition interlock device registers the amount of alcohol on your breath and prevents your car from starting if it detects .05 or higher. Proponents believe it is a more positive way to deal with those who drive after drinking, teaching them sober driving habits and allowing them the opportunity to continue going to work. You may also agree that it has the positive aspect of preventing you from making the same mistake of driving while intoxicated and risking a subsequent arrest with the chance of more severe penalties.
Nevertheless, penalties for DWI are harsh and may include time in jail and heavy fines, depending on your blood alcohol content. This is why having a strong defense is essential. Facing DWI charges without legal counsel may result in consequences that could affect you and your family for the rest of your life. With an experienced attorney, you will have an advocate to defend your rights, and your chances of a more positive outcome will improve.