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DUI, DWI & Criminal Legislation in New Jersey  

Driving while intoxicated , section: 39:4-50

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Penalties/Suspension on Conviction, Prohibition, Driving while intoxicated

For the first offense, to a fine of not less than $250.00 nor more than $400.00 and a period of detainment of not less than 12 hours nor more than 48 hours spent during two consecutive days of not less than six hours each day and served as prescribed by the program requirements of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers established under subsection (f) of this section and, in the discretion of the court, a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days and shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of not less than six months nor more than one year. For a first offense, a person also shall be subject to the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.).

(2) For a second violation, a person shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000.00, and shall be ordered by the court to perform community service for a period of 30 days, which shall be of such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances, and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 48 consecutive hours, which shall not be suspended or served on probation, nor more than 90 days, and shall forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of two years upon conviction, and, after the expiration of said period, he may make application to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles for a license to operate a motor vehicle, which application may be granted at the discretion of the director, consistent with subsection (b) of this section. For a second violation, a person also shall be required to install an ignition interlock device under the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.) or shall have his registration certificate and registration plates revoked for two years under the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1995, c. 286 (C.39:3-40.1).

(3) For a third or subsequent violation, a person shall be subject to a fine of $1,000.00, and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 180 days, except that the court may lower such term for each day, not exceeding 90 days, served performing community service in such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances and shall thereafter forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for 10 years. For a third or subsequent violation, a person also shall be required to install an ignition interlock device under the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.) or shall have his registration certificate and registration plates revoked for 10 years under the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1995, c. 286 (C.39:3-40.1).

(g) When a violation of this section occurs while:

(1) on any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of such school property;

(2) driving through a school crossing as defined in R.S.39:1-1 if the municipality, by ordinance or resolution, has designated the school crossing as such; or

(3) driving through a school crossing as defined in R.S.39:1-1 knowing that juveniles are present if the municipality has not designated the school crossing as such by ordinance or resolution, the convicted person shall: for a first offense, be fined not less than $500 or more than $800, be imprisoned for not more than 60 days and have his license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for a period of not less than one year or more than two years; for a second offense, be fined not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000, perform community service for a period of 60 days, be imprisoned for not less than 96 consecutive hours, which shall not be suspended or served on probation, nor more than 180 days, except that the court may lower such term for each day, not exceeding 90 days, served performing community service in such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances and have his license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for a period of not less than four years; and, for a third offense, be fined $2,000, imprisoned for 180 days and have his license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for a period of 20 years; the period of license suspension shall commence upon the completion of any prison sentence imposed upon that person.

Comments : The penalties for DWI and refusal in New Jersey are significant. Do not just plead guilty because you assume fighting the charge is hopeless. Determine your defenses, and decide whether to exercise your constituional right to a trial.

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