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How do New Jersey’s DUI laws compare to other states?

People who are convicted of driving under the influence in New Jersey will face less harsh penalties than in most other states. Drunk driving is a costly and dangerous problem that affects people all across the United States. However, the penalties for being convicted of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated are not uniform and vary from state to state. If you were to get a DUI in New Jersey, here is how it would compare to the rest of the country based on a recent study.

According to WalletHub, the study took several different metrics into account when ranking the states. The study did not look at how states with the least harsh DUI penalties fared when it comes to the number of accidents or fatalities caused by drunk drivers. Points were assigned for each category and the states that scored the highest number of points ranked as the strictest. Some of the factors included:

  • Whether the state had harsher penalties for people with high blood alcohol levels
  • Whether use of ignition interlocks is mandated
  • Minimum amounts of jail time for first and second DUI offenses
  • Whether the state takes into consideration if a child was in the car

New Jersey ranked 44th overall when it comes to how strict states are on DUI offenders, making it one of the most lenient states in the nation. This means that people who are guilty of drunk driving in New Jersey may end up back on the road, even if they have multiple convictions. Coming in first as the strictest state was Arizona, followed by Georgia and Alaska. The bottom three were North Dakota, the District of Columbia and South Dakota.

Currently in New Jersey, if you are charged with a DUI it does not automatically result in a suspended license. In addition, while in many other states subsequent DUI’s result in felony charges, that is not true in New Jersey. There is no minimum sentence for a DUI conviction and the maximum sentence is 2 days of jail time. Finally, a DUI stays on your driving record for 10 years. 

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