In 2019, New Jersey updated its laws governing the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI). The state’s new statutes prioritize safety and rehabilitation by mandating the installation of ignition interlock devices on offenders’ vehicles. Furthermore, these laws have decreased the length of sentences and license suspensions for lower-level offenses.

Based on the updates to state laws, you might assume that your penalties for a second or third DUI will be minor. Yet, while your consequences may be less punitive than before, they could still be stiff.

The penalties for a second offense

Under New Jersey’s new laws, if you have received charges for a second DUI offense, you could lose your license for up to two years. A second conviction also comes with a mandatory jail sentence of between two and 90 days, as well as a fine of between $500 and $1,000. And you will also have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, which will prevent you from operating it if your BAC is 0.05% or greater.

The penalties for a third or subsequent offense

If you received charges for a third or subsequent DUI offense, your penalties will stiffen. Each additional offense, though, will carry the same set of consequences. Your license suspension will lengthen and could last up to 10 years. You will also receive a mandatory jail sentence of at least 180 days, though the court may give you the option to serve 90 days of it at a state-approved rehabilitation program. You will have to pay a fine of $1,000 as well. And you will need to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

Despite overhauls to New Jersey’s DUI laws, you could still face serious penalties if you receive charges for a DUI/DWI offense, especially a second, third or subsequent offense. By seeking legal assistance, you can understand your options for mitigating your potential consequences.