What are the penalties attached to a DUI/DWI conviction?

What are the penalties attached to a DUI/DWI conviction?

In New Jersey, driving under the influence of alcohol is against the law, as it should be. This action places lives at risk, so the state wants to send a message that authorities do not tolerate such behavior. This is why you may find the penalties attached to a DUI conviction are quite severe.

What are the penalties for DUI? Is it possible to fight such charges? What else do you need to know about DUI cases?

Current penalties

DUI penalties do change on occasion. Currently, penalties include incarceration, fines and loss of driving privileges. Your blood alcohol content level at the time of your arrest will impact punishment severity in your case. Wondering at what level a person is considered too drunk to drive? Here are New Jersey’s current BAC limits:

  • Underage: .02 percent
  • Per Se: .08 percent
  • Aggravated: .10 percent

If you are an on-duty commercial driver, a BAC level of .04 or higher could get you arrested and cost you your commercial license.

If convicted of a DUI charge, you may spend anywhere from three months to 10 years behind bars. It all depends on the number of offenses on your records and the details of your current case. You may have to participate in a mandatory treatment program. The state may take your vehicle temporarily. Finally, you may have to install an ignition interlock device on your car — at your expense.


You may employ a number of defense strategies to fight a DUI charge. The one that may work for you will depend on the details of your case. A few defense options include questioning BAC and field sobriety test results, claiming officers lacked reasonable cause to pull you over and claiming rising BAC — among various others.

What else do I need to know?

When it comes to DUI charges, criminal consequences are not all you need to concern yourself with. There are administrative penalties that do not cross most people’s minds. License suspension or revocation can affect your ability to work and provide for your family. These issues are not addressed in criminal court, but legal counsel can help you through an administrative hearing.

You may feel that fighting a DUI charge is a hopeless cause, but it is not and it is worth your while to do it.