DUI Lawyer: DUI Limits and Penalties FAQ


Are there different legal limits for different DUI cases?

dui lawyer, dui penalties

Believe it or not, there are three different legal limits that are followed based upon the situation under which the crime transpires.

  1. Ordinary DUI.  The legal limit that every one knows is a BAC of .08%, which applies to the average person operating their vehicle.
  2. Underage driving.  The legal limit for someone who is under 21 is a BAC of .01%, which is much lower.  This has to do with the fact that underage drinking in general is illegal, but also because at a younger age you are still developing your driving reflexes, and as a result alcohol can affect you more.
  3. Commercial driver’s license.  The limit people rarely know about however is the commercial driver limit.  If someone is operating a commercial vehicle, the legal limit is .04% rather than .08%, which is again quite low.  This stems from the fact that commercial vehicles are much less forgiving when it comes to driver error.  However, the way the law is written is that even if you are driving your private vehicle (not a truck) and have a CDL you can be convicted of a DUI if you have over a .04% BAC.

What are the penalties for a DUI first offense in New Jersey with Blood Alcohol Content of between .08 to .10%?

For the first offense without aggravating factors it depends on the level of alcohol in your blood.  If you have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) greater than .08% but less than .10%, your costs will be between $1044 and $1194.  The Judge’s discretion is limited to between $250.00 and $400.00.  The remaining costs total $794 and are non-discretionary:

  • IDRC fee – $230
  • IDRC attendance fee – 100
  • DWI Surcharge – $100
  • Drunk Driving Fund – $100
  • License Restoration Fee – $100
  • Safe Neighborhood Fund Assessment – $75.00
  • Violent Crimes Compensation Board (VCCB) – 50
  • Court Costs – $33.00
  • Assessments – $6.00

What are the penalties for a DUI first offense in New Jersey with Blood Alcohol Content of .10% or greater?

If you have a BAC of over .10%, you will be fined between $1094 and $1294.  The Judge’s discretion is limited to between $300 and $500.  The remaining fines total $794 and are non-discretionary:

  • IDRC fee – $230
  • IDRC attendance fee – 100
  • DWI Surcharge – $100
  • Drunk Driving Fund – $100
  • License Restoration Fee – $100
  • Safe Neighborhood Fund Assessment – $75.00
  • Violent Crimes Compensation Board (VCCB) – 50
  • Court Costs – $33.00
  • Assessments – $6.00

You will also face an insurance surcharge of $3,000 payable in three payments of $1,000 per year for three years.   You must attend alcohol awareness classes at the IDRC for 12 to 48 hours during two consecutive days of not less than six hours each day. In addition, you can be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail. You will lose your license in New Jersey for seven to twelve months. You may be forced to participate in supervised visitation program as either a condition of probation or a form of community service.  If your BAC is less than .15% you may be forced to install an interlock device for six months to a year after the end of your license suspension.  If your BAC is .15% or greater you will be forced to install an interlock device for six months to a year after the end of your license suspension.

What are the penalties for a DUI second offense in New Jersey?

For a second violation, fines range from $1344 to $1,844. The Judge’s discretion is limited to between $500 and $1000.  The remaining fines total $844 and are non-discretionary:

    • IDRC fee – $230
    • IDRC attendance fee – 100
    • DWI Surcharge – $100
    • Drunk Driving Fund – $100
    • License Restoration Fee – $100
    • Safe Neighborhood Fund Assessment – $75.00
    • Violent Crimes Compensation Board (VCCB) – 50
    • Court Costs – $33.00
    • Assessments – $6.00

How much jail time might I face after a DUI?

This depends heavily on the details of the incident, as there are many cases in which there will not be jail time.  Instead there may be hefty fines and license suspensions.  This would not be the case however if someone were to be injured as a result of the DUI.  The civil charges that are brought as a result of a DUI would not normally carry jail time, but should criminal charges also be filed, jail time could be a possible outcome.  Most of the time however, having a strong lawyer on your side will help in minimizing if not eliminating jail time, or the overall severity of the punishment in general.

  • First offense- , you will be jailed only in exceptional circumstances
  • Second offense – minimum 2 to 90 days jail
  • Third offense – 180 days in jail.

Whenever presented with any form of legal charge it is very important to seek legal counsel, but it is especially important in DUI cases where the outcome can affect your life for years to come.

If I am sentenced to jail, are there any alternatives to actually going to jail?

There may be depending on your individual case.  There are weekend programs, community service programs.  The best course is to avoid a conviction altogether. For more information contact us, we provide personal attention and aggressive representation on concerns of each and every client.

Are there defenses to DUI?

Yes. They are varied and require a thorough understanding of your case.  Please call me as soon as possible after your arrest to discuss your case.

Free Resources for you

If you are charged with a DUI you need to know your options before going to court.  On this page you will see an offer for my books, click the link, put your name and contact information and we will give you these books free:

  1. Arrested for Drunk Driving?  Learn how to Beat the Odds – Here I discuss defense strategies, and common mistakes I see other attorneys make in defending these complicated cases.  I also list for your question you should ask any attorney that you interview for your defense.
  2. Why Pleading Guilty to Your New Jersey Traffic Ticket is NOT an Option – Here I discuss court process and violations, including DUI’s.  There lots of case examples here.
  3. An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court.  This discusses specifically what you will encounter in  Municipal Court if you aren’t a U.S. citizen and how it can result in removal proceedings in Immigration Court.  I define important terms and guide you through the Municipal Court and Immigration Court process.

If you have DUI or Traffic offenses questions, we have answers.  You can,

  1. Call 888-695-6169 to speak to our knowledgeable staff;
  2. Fill out the contact us form on this page;
  3. Select the live chat feature to speak to someone right away.

We help DUI defendants, one court client at a time.

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