As we’ve made clear in previous posts, anyone who finds themselves out at a bar, restaurant or other area hotspot with co-workers, friends or significant others should always pause before having that one extra drink. That’s because New Jersey takes a less than forgiving approach to driving while intoxicated.

While we’ve demonstrated this point by outlining the penalties for a first offense DWI, consider the consequences that can result if a person makes the mistake a second time.

Under state law, the penalties for a second DUI conviction include:

  • A fine of $500 to $1,000
  • A minimum of 48 consecutive hours and up to 90 days behind bars
  • A license suspension of two years
  • An ignition interlock device for one to three years following restoration of a driver’s license
  • An automobile insurance surcharge totaling $1,000 per year for three years

As if this wasn’t convincing enough, consider the penalties associated with other DWI-related offenses:

Open container

Those convicted of having an open container of alcohol in the passenger compartment of their vehicle face the following penalties:

  • First offense: A fine of $200
  • Second offense: A $250 fine or 10 days of community service

Driving with a minor

Those convicted of a DWI who also had a passenger 17 years old or younger in the car at the time of the incident are not only guilty of a disorderly persons offense, but also automatically forfeit their driving privileges for up to six months and must perform up to five days of community service.

Driving with a suspended license

Those individuals who are caught driving with a suspended license attributable to a DWI conviction face the following penalties:

  • A fine of $500
  • Anywhere from 10 to 90 days behind bars
  • An additional one to two year license suspension
  • A revocation of motor vehicle registration

What all of this serves to underscore is that if you’ve made the mistake of driving after having that one extra drink and find yourself being taken into custody on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible as the stakes are simply too high.