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Not So Merry: How A DUI Can Make Your Holiday Party A Lot Less Bright

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Not So Merry: How A DUI Can Make Your Holiday Party A Lot Less Bright

Not So Merry: How A DUI Can Make Your Holiday Party A Lot Less Bright

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is already here. While we still have some time to finish our holiday shopping, many people are looking forward to getting together to commemorate the holidays with some delicious Hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine. Unfortunately, one glass too many can result in a DUI that can ultimately affect your job, your reputation, and your freedom. 

If you plan on going out on Thanksgiving Eve or drinking over the holiday season, you should familiarize yourself with the penalties for a DUI conviction, along with steps you can take to avoid the possibility of committing a DUI. 

What Are the DUI Penalties?

Under New Jersey law, penalties for a DUI conviction will vary based on how many times you have been previously convicted for DUI and what your blood alcohol content was when you were arrested. 

If you are facing a first-time conviction for DUI with a BAC higher than 0.08 percent but less than 0.10 percent, penalties may include:

  • A fine of $250 to $400
  • A jail sentence of up to 30 days
  • Forfeiture of driver’s license until you install an ignition interlock on your vehicle. You may be required to have the interlock installed for up to three months
  • Six-hour courses over two consecutive days at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years

When you are convicted for the first time for DUI but had a BAC greater than 0.10 percent but less than 0.15 percent, penalties may include:

  • A fine of $300 to $500
  • A jail sentence of up to 30 days
  • Forfeiture of driver’s license until you install an ignition interlock on your vehicle. You may be required to have the interlock installed for up to seven months
  • Six-hour courses over two consecutive days at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years

For a first-time DUI conviction where your BAC was 0.15 percent or greater, additional penalties may include a mandatory license suspension of four to six months, along with the requirement to install an ignition interlock device during the period of license suspension and for an additional nine to 15 months thereafter.

Penalties for a second DUI conviction include:

  • A fine of $500 to $100
  • A jail sentence of at least 48 consecutive hours, up to 90 days
  • One to two year driver’s license suspension
  • Requirement to install an ignition interlock during license suspension and for an additional two to four years following license restoration
  • 48 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years
  • 30 days’ community service

Penalties for a third or subsequent DUI conviction include: 

  • $1000 fine
  • A jail sentence of 180 days, except that up to 90 days may be spent in an inpatient alcohol rehabilitation center
  • Eight-year driver’s license suspension
  • Requirement to install an ignition interlock during license suspension and for an additional two to four years following license restoration
  • Requirement to undergo evaluation, referral, and recommended programs at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,500 for three years
  • 30 days’ community service

Tips for Avoiding Engaging in DUI on Thanksgiving Eve

To avoid the risk of engaging in drunk driving if you choose to go to a party or celebration on Thanksgiving Eve or the rest of the holiday season, you should keep these tips in mind:

  • If driving your own vehicle, make sure to have a designated driver who will refrain from consuming any alcohol
  • Alternatively, you can arrange for transportation, such as taking public transit or calling a taxi, rideshare, or livery vehicle
  • Finally, you can also consider making arrangements to sleep over if going to a bar or party at a friend’s or family member’s home

Contact an Experienced Audubon DWI Defense Attorney About Your Drunk Driving Charges in New Jersey

Have you been charged with a DWI or DUI offense in New Jersey? A drunk driving conviction could leave you with a permanent record, and it could result in your driver’s license being suspended for a very long time. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified DWI defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at The Scardella Law Firm, LLC represent clients charged with drunk driving, breath test refusal, and related offenses in Audubon, Gloucester City, Camden, Cherry Hill, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 452-4820 or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 109 E. Atlantic Ave., Audubon, NJ 08106, in addition to offices located in Hamilton.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.