The Cost of a DWI in NJ

NJ DWI LawNew Jersey has a zero tolerance policy towards drunk driving or driving while under the influence of drugs, imposing harsh penalties on those who are convicted of a DWI in NJ.  These penalties include loss of your driving privileges for at least 3 months, mandatory participation in an IDRC (Intoxicated Driver Resource Center), various fines and penalties, the possible installation of an ignition interlock device, and even time in jail.  These penalties can have a devastating effect on your finances, hurting your ability to provide for yourself or your family on a long-term basis.

Conviction Cost of a DWI in NJ

The lowest level first offense DWI in NJ while having a BAC of 0.08% or 0.09% is punishable by a fine of $250 to $400.  In addition, you will have to pay $230 to $280 to the IDRC, $100 to the state’s Drunk Driving Fund and $100 to the AERF (Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund).  There’s also a fee of $75 to the Neighborhood Services Fund and an insurance surcharge of $1,000 that you will need to pay annually for a period of 3 years to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.  Failing to make a surcharge payment will result in automatic license suspension, even if you are not a New Jersey resident.  For a first DWI in NJ with a BAC up to 0.14% or while under the influence of drugs, it is the judge’s option to require the installation of an interlock device on your vehicle.  If you are required to have an ignition interlock device in your car, you will have to pay for the installation and the mandatory service appointments required.  A first-time DWI conviction in New Jersey can cost you a minimum of $4,000 in expenses.

The fines, fees and insurance surcharges are increased for higher level first offense DWI’s and subsequent convictions of DWI in NJ.  A second offense drunk driving conviction can cost you more than $4,700 and a third or subsequent DWI in NJ can run as much as $6,200 or more.

Hidden Cost of a DWI in NJ

However, there are other costs that you need to consider, such as the inevitable increase in your auto insurance rate.  Although a DWI in NJ does not add points to your license, it does result in a high number of insurance eligibility points, which allows insurance providers to charge you a higher rate.  Of course, a more pressing concern is that you will not be able to drive at all for a period of at least 3 months.  This is likely to cause some difficulty doing basic tasks such as going to work, taking your kids to school and picking up groceries.  Even if you have family members who can drive you, the added responsibility this adds to their already busy lives may cause feelings of stress and resentment.

Unfortunately, many people who can’t rely on family or friends, and have no reliable public transportation to their jobs are eventually let go by their employers.  They may find themselves facing financial hardship since they are likely to be denied unemployment.

Hire a Trained Lawyer for DWI in NJ Cases

As you can see, the cost of a conviction of DWI in NJ can be monumental, depending on your personal circumstances.  If you have been charged with a DWI in NJ, you should fight your charges with help from an experienced attorney.  Please consider speaking with Partner Carmine R. Villani, Esq., who has over two decades of experience as a former municipal prosecutor and public defender throughout Ocean and Monmouth Counties.  In addition to his extensive trial experience, Mr. Villani has been trained on SFST (Standard Field Sobriety Testing) and the proper usage of the Alcotest 7110 Breathalyzer device.  His knowledge of the laws and municipal court procedures for DWI in NJ will give you the representation you need to protect your quality of life. Call Villani & DeLuca at (723) 965-3350 to schedule your free consultation!