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What is the first-time drunk driving penalty?

Driving under the influence of alcohol puts you in danger and endangers everyone else on the road. New Jersey has set laws about what will happen to you if you get convicted of a DUI. To begin with, if you drive and your blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or higher, then you are driving under the influence, according to the Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

The penalties you face get stiffer with each subsequent DUI conviction. However, if you face your first offense and your BAC was 0.08-0.09 percent, you will have to pay an insurance surcharge of $1000 annually for three years and a fine ranging from $250-$400. You may also have to go to jail for up to 30 days, spend at least six hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and have your license suspended for three months. If your BAC is .10 percent or more, the fine jumps to between $300 and $500 and your license suspension is for at least seven months and up to one year.

In addition, you will pay other fines and fees associated with any DUI conviction. You will pay $50 for a Violent Crimes Compensation Fund fee, a $100 surcharge to the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund, a $75 fee for the Safe and Secure Community Program and a $100 fee for the Intoxicated Driving Program. You also must pay a $100 restoration fee to the Motor Vehicle Commission.

Some drivers think they can avoid all the hassle by simply refusing to take a breath test. However, that also comes with penalties. If you refuse the test, you will pay a fine between $300 and $500. You also will have your license suspended for at least seven months. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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