NJ DWI Penalties

A DWI conviction in New Jersey may result in jail time, a monetary fine, and a period of license suspension, among other potential penalties. The severity of these penalties will depend on a number of different factors, including:

  • Any Previous DWI convictions on your record
  • The presence of any underage passengers in the vehicle
  • Whether or not you hold a commercial driver's license (CDL)
On this page, you can learn more about DWI penalties. No matter what situation you face a DWI in, you can learn more about what you face and how to protect yourself here.

New Jersey DWI Refusal

You may be surprised to learn that if you hold a valid driver’s license from New Jersey or any other state, you have given your consent to submit to a breath sample by law enforcement by driving on any public road, street, or highway in the state. Failure to submit to a breath test will result in a DWI refusal charge, also known as an implied consent violation.

A Second, Separate Charge
It is important to understand that this charge is related to the act of refusing the official breath test and is in addition to any DWI charge you may face. Under New Jersey DWI law, even if you are acquitted on the DWI charge, you can still be convicted on the refusal charge.

License SuspensionIRDC DetainmentIgnition InterlockFinesSurcharge
1st Offense7 Months - 1 Year12 Hours Minimum6 Months - 1 Year$300-$500$3500+
2nd Offense2 Years48 Hours Minimum1 - 3 Years$500-$1000$3500+
3rd Offense10 Years12 Hours Minimum1 - 3 Years$1000$5000+

Note: The ignition interlock device must be installed for the duration of the license suspension plus the addition period noted in the table above.

NJ DWI Refusal Penalties in a School Zone

License SuspensionIRDC DetainmentIgnition InterlockFinesSurcharge
1st Offense1 - 2 Years12 Hours Minimum6 Months - 1 Year$600-$1000$3500+
2nd Offense4 Years48 Hours Minimum1 - 3 Years$1000-$2000$3500+
3rd Offense20 Years12 Hours Minimum1 - 3 Years$2000$5000+

Note: The ignition interlock device must be installed for the duration of the license suspension plus the addition period noted in the table above.

Effective New Jersey DWI Refusal Defense

DWI refusal cases are highly complex legal matters that are best handled by experienced DWI professionals.Attorney Steven Hernandez has a proven track record of success in representing clients facing DWI refusal charges.

Penalties for a First Offense DWI

A DWI conviction can trigger severe consequences—even if you have a perfect driving record and no previous criminal history.
The state of New Jersey uses a multi-tiered penalty structure for DWI offenses. Under this structure, drivers who had a BAC of 0.08% to 0.099% are classified as “General DWI” offenders and those whose BAC was 0.10% or higher are classified as “High Rate DWI” offenders.

In addition to these fines and penalties, a DWI conviction can trigger a host of other consequences such as increased auto insurance rates, travel restrictions, an ignition interlock device and potential job loss. New Jersey does not allow work permits or limited driving licenses during a license suspension period. A DWI license suspension means no driving—period.

TierDescriptionJail SentenceLicense SuspensionIDRC DetentionFinesSurcharge
General DWIBAC .08-.099Up to 30 Days3 Months12- 48 Hours$250-$400$3000
High Rate DWIBAC .10+Up tp 30 Days7 - 12 Months12 - 48 Hours$300-$500$3000

Penalties for a Second Offense DWI

If you have been convicted of DWI in New Jersey within the past ten years, your second DWI conviction will result in enhanced penalties:

For a second DWI within 10 years, you will be also required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for the duration of the license suspension plus an additional one to three years following the restoration of your license. Your auto insurance may also be affected by a second DWI conviction. Your insurance company may raise your rates or cancel your policy altogether.

Jail SentenceLicense suspensionIDRC DetainmentCommunity ServiceFinesSurcharge
2nd Offense in 10 Years2 - 90 Days2 Years12 - 48 Hours30 Days$500-$1000$3000+

Penalties for a Third Offense DWI

If you have been convicted of DWI in New Jersey within the past ten years, your second DWI conviction will result in enhanced penalties:

Spending six months in jail and losing your driver’s license for 10 years can affect more than just your personal life. You could also lose your job, especially if you drive for a living. Three or more DWI convictions on your record will also make it harder to obtain employment in the future. If you already have two or more DWI convictions on your record and are facing a third or subsequent charge, you need to speak with a reputable and experienced DWI defense attorney right away.

Jail SentenceLicense suspensionIDRC DetainmentFinesSurcharge
3rd or Subsequent Offense180 Days10 Years12 - 48 Hours$1000$4500+

New Jersey DWI & Your Driver's License

Your driver’s license will be suspended if you are convicted of or plead guilty to a DWI in New Jersey. The length of the suspension depends on the number of prior DWIs you have received within the last 10 years. DWI license suspensions in New Jersey are as follows:

OffenseBAC .08 - .10BAC Over .10
First Offense3 Months7 - 12 Months
Second Offense2 Years2 Years
Third Offense10 Years10 Years

A licensed underage driver with a BAC of .01 or higher may lose his or her license for 30 to 90 days.

In order to have your license reinstated, you must pay a $100 restoration fee to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission after your suspension period has ended. It is important to understand that because New Jersey does not offer any type of provisional licenses, you will be unable to drive in any capacity while your driver’s license is suspended. Without a driver’s license, you will not be able to drive to work, take your kids to school or even run errands. Driving with a suspended license could result in very serious consequences.

Penalties for Driving While on Suspension

If you are convicted of DWI in New Jersey, one of the penalties you may face is a suspension of your driver’s license. If you are caught driving at any time while your license is suspended, you could face even more penalties.

Jail SentenceLicense SuspensionFinesSurcharge
First Time (DWS)10 - 90 Days1 - 2 Additional Years$500$750
Second Time (DWS)180 Days to 18 Months1 - 2 Additional Years$10000$750

New Jersey DWI License Suspension & Travel

For a first offense, your license can be suspended for up to one year. Repeat offenders will face more time than this. New Jersey does not offer limited licenses or work permits so a one year suspension means no driving at all.

This makes getting to and from where you need to go both cumbersome and expensive. This is difficult to estimate as costs will vary due to the availability of public transport and other factors. However, even using a modest estimate of $100 per week, these costs quickly add up to the tune of $5,000 over a year.

Costs for Traveling While Serving a License Suspension: $5000 per year.

New Jersey Ignition Interlock Devices

If you are a repeat offender or a first time offender with a BAC of 0.15% or above, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. The cost for this device and its maintenance is about $1,500 per year. The required term for an interlock device is 6 to 18 months for a first offense after the license is restored. For a second or third offense, drivers are required to have the device installed for the duration of the license suspension AND an additional one to three years afterwards.

The costs for Ignition Interlock Device amount to $1500 per year.

On top of this is the embarrassment of having an interlock device installed in your car. It’s like a proverbial scarlet letter. Everyone will know about your DWI, which is one of the most politically charged crimes in the country.

Jail Sentences for DWI in New Jersey

If you are convicted of DWI in New Jersey, it is possible that you could be spending time behind bars. The maximum amount of time will depend on how many prior offenses are on your record.

1st Offense2nd Offense3rd Offense
Jail Sentence0 - 30 Days0 - 90 Days0 - 180 Days

The judge will have sole discretion in your case regarding the length of your jail sentence. He or she will make that determination based on circumstances specific to your case.

NJ DWI Penalties for Out of State Drivers

Millions of out-of-state drivers travel through New Jersey each year. Those who are arrested and charged with DWI face complicated and serious circumstances, which may end up in legal proceedings in two separate states. The State of New Jersey is part of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, which requires law enforcement to notify your home state if you are convicted of a DWI. Every state handles this differently but the end result is usually the same: your home state will likely suspend your driver’s license.

New Jersey DWI Fines

One of the first things people ask about when charged with a first offense DWI is “How much is this going to cost?” Because of the nature of this offense, there are many different types of costs that need to accounted for, including fines, court fees, increased insurance rates and the cost of getting around while your license is suspended.

There are, however, some definite financial obligations you will have to consider. There are fines, surcharges and mandatory assessments that are required to be paid by law. For a first offense these include:

FinesInsurance SurchargesMisc. ChargesTotal Fines & Surcharges
$250 - $500$3000 (Over 3 Years)$364$3864

Many people don’t realize how much a DWI conviction will cost them. Just because the charge is dealt with as a traffic charge and not a criminal charge doesn’t mean you will pay a ticket and go free. Even a conviction for a first offense could land you in jail, get your license suspended and cost you thousands of dollars.

Hidden Costs

There are many hidden costs for a New Jersey DWI. There are certain mandatory assessments, fines and surcharges that every person, convicted of a DWI/DUI must pay. They are as follows:

Total Costs$3614 - $3864$3,864 - $4,364$5,864
First OffenseSecond OffenseThird Offense
Fines$250 - $500$500 - $1000$1000
Insurance Surcharge$3000 (Over 3 Years)$3000 (Over 3 Years)$4500 (Over 3 Years)
Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund$100$100$100
DUI Surcharge$100$100$100
Safe Neighborhood Fund$75$75$75
Victims of Crime Compensation Board$50$50$50
Court Costs$33$33$33
Law Enforcement Officers Crisis Intervention Services$1$1$1
Autism Medical Research & Treatment Fund$1$1$1
New Jersey Spinal Cord Research Fund$1$1$1
New Jersey Forensic DNA Laboratory Fund$2$2$2
New Jersey Brain Injury Research Fund$1$1$1

Additional Costs

Car Insurance

Your car insurance premiums will increase if convicted of a DWI. While this increase is based on a number of factors including your driving history, you can estimate that the premiums will be double to triple what they were before. In the long run this can add up to ten of thousands of dollars.

Ignition Interlock

Ignition Interlock: All repeat offenders and first time offenders with a BAC of over 0.15% will have to install an ignition interlock device in the vehicle at their own expense. The cost for this device and its maintenance is about $100 per month.

Help for Your New Jersey DWI Case

If you have been charged with DWI and you hold a pilot’s license, it is imperative that you speak with a knowledgeable DWI defense attorney immediately in order to mitigate the impact to your license and your career. Attorney Steven Hernandez has represented pilots in their New Jersey DWI cases, and he understands how important and delicate these situations are. Don’t get grounded because you hired the wrong lawyer.

Sentencing and Prior DWIs in New Jersey

In New Jersey, DWI sentencing is determined based on the number of prior convictions on your record. You may be surprised to learn that municipal judges have very little discretion to make adjustments outside of the sentencing guidelines.

Step-Down (Look-Back) Period

New Jersey’s look back period for DWIs is 10 years. Priors are broken down as follows under the law:

ClassificationCriteria
First Time OffenderEither your first DWI ever, or charged a second DWI that occurs more than 10 years after your first
Second Time OffenderEither your second DWI (if charged within 10 years of your first) or a third offense if 10 years after your second
Third Time OffenderEither a third DWI (charged within 10 years of your second) or a second if charged 10 years after your first.
Regardless of how much time has passed, if you are convicted of a fourth or subsequent WI, you will always be treated under the third-offender penalties.

New Jersey DWI Drugs Penalties

You can be arrested for DWI involving drugs if you are under the influence of any of the following:

List of Intoxicants
MarijuanaSynthetic Marijuana (K2, Spice)NarcoticsHallucinogens
Bath SaltsCocaineCertain Prescription DrugsMany other Substances
OffenseJail SentenceLicense SuspensionIDRC DetentionFinesSurcharge
First OffenseUp to 30 Days7 - 12 Months12- 48 Hours$300-$500$3500+
Second Offense2 - 90 Days2 Years12 - 48 Hours$500 - $1000$3500+
Third Offense180 Days10 Years12 - 48 Hours$1000$5000+

Evidence and Defenses

The penalties are severe and the charges are serious—but if you have been arrested for DWI involving drugs, there are ways to defend you against these charges. DWI drug charges normally have two main types of evidence: toxicology reports and the testimony of the arresting officer. The tests police use to determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs are called drug recognition evaluations (DRE).

Qualified and certified personnel must conduct toxicology reports according to scientific standards and procedures. If a urine or blood sample is mishandled or stored improperly, it may become contaminated. If the integrity of the sample is in doubt, it may be grounds to have that sample ruled inadmissible which may lead to a dismissal of the case.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in NJ

Medical marijuana was legalized in New Jersey 2010. While a certain segment of our state’s population may now use this drug, absolutely no one is permitted to drive under its influence. If you are convicted of or plead guilty to driving under the influence of marijuana, the penalties you face will depend on what, if any, priors you have on your record within the past seven years:

OffenseJail SentenceLicense SuspensionFines
First OffenseUp to 30 Days7 - 12 Months$300-$500
Second Offense2 - 90 Days2 Years$500 - $1000
Third Offense180 Days10 Years$1000

Driving under the influence of marijuana is unique from a DWI involving alcohol in that there is a very low threshold for intoxication. In order to be arrested for a DWI involving alcohol, the driver’s blood alcohol concentration must be at or above the legal limit of .08. On the other hand, any trace of THC (a chemical found in marijuana) in the driver’s bloodstream is grounds for an arrest.

NJ DWI Prescription Medication Penalties

You could be charged with DWI if you are under the influence of a prescription medication—even one that has been legally prescribed to you, including: Antidepressants & Painkillers. You may also be charged if you are impaired by an over-the-counter medication, such as: Allergy medications, Sleeping pills,  or Cough syrups. If you are found guilty of driving under the influence of prescription drugs, you may face the following penalties:

OffenseJail SentenceIDRC DetentionLicense SuspensionFines
First OffenseUp to 30 Days12 - 48 Hours7 - 12 Months$300-$500
Second Offense2 - 90 Days12 - 48 Hours2 Years$500 - $1000
Third Offense180 Days12 - 48 Hours10 Years$1000

Possible Defenses

In order to convict someone of a DWI involving prescription drugs, the prosecution must prove that the drug in question was in the blood stream of the accused to the extent that he or she was intoxicated by it while operating a vehicle. The prosecution normally introduces the results of forensic tests, such as urine and blood tests, as well as the testimony of the arresting officer as evidence. An experienced DWI lawyer can challenge this evidence and may be able to show flaws that can lead to an acquittal or dismissal of the case.

New Jersey DWI Under 21

New Jersey is a ZERO TOLERANCE

state for anyone UNDER 21

Underage DWI is a growing problem in New Jersey and lawmakers have responded by passing stiffer “zero-tolerance” laws. The question is, are these the right laws? Under the zero-tolerance laws, a driver under the age of 21, with a blood alcohol level of .01 or above, can be arrested and charged with a DWI.

The main problem with this is that the current testing equipment in use is not that accurate and can flag someone with a BAC number even if they did not drink. See for yourself, you can get a positive reading from simply eating white bread. For someone underage, that means a DWI charge: You can get a positive reading as a result of using hand sanitizing liquid, nail polish remover or even mouthwash. That means many young people are at risk of being falsely convicted of DWI and having that crime hold them back from a bright future. Zero-tolerance may sound good in theory, but until the technology gets there.

New Jersey state law covers a wide range of alcohol-related offenses for minors. A driver under the age of 21 could be charged with the following:

BACJail SentenceLicense SuspensionCommunity ServiceIDRC DetentionFinesSurcharge
.01 - .079%Not Applicable30 - 90 Days15 - 30 DaysRequiredPossiblePossible
0.08 - 0.99%Up to 30 Days3 MonthsNot Applicable12 - 48 Hours$250-$400$3000+
0.10 or HigherUp to 30 Days7 to 12 MonthsNot Applicable12 - 48 Hours$300-$500$3000+

Under 21 Possession or Consumption of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle

Under this statute, any underage person who consumes or possesses alcohol in a motor vehicle may be charged, including passengers.
License suspensionFines
Under 21 Possession or Consumption of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle6 Months$500

Penalties

A DWI conviction early in life can trigger a number of consequences that can impact important aspects of a young person’s future, such as:

EducationEmploymentInsurance
Colleges and universities commonly perform background checks, and a DWI conviction may result in the denial of an application for enrollment or a scholarship.Employers may be hesitant to hire someone with a DWI on their record.Car insurance companies may deny coverage altogether for young adults with a DWI. If coverage is offered, the rates will be extremely expensive.

Defending an Under 21 DWI Case

There are many defenses available for underage DWI cases in New Jersey. One of the main defenses is the low threshold of 0.01% BAC. Many natural and artificial substances can cause a breath test to register a low BAC reading. An experienced DWI attorney will know what defenses are suitable after a thorough review of your case. Click Here to schedule the thorough review of your case.

New Jersey DWI Accident Causing Death

If you are involved in an accident that results in the death of another person, you may be charged with death by auto, a second degree crime in New Jersey. If you were intoxicated at the time of the accident, you could also face DWI charges—and the associated penalties if you are convicted.

Second degree offenses are punishable by five to 10 years in prison. In the case of a DWI accident that results in a death, a conviction will also result in a loss of license for a period of five years to life.

Vehicular Homicide

In a death case, the state needs to establish that not only was the driver the cause of the accident, but that his acts were reckless. The court will presume recklessness if there is evidence that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.

Defenses to Vehicular Homicide Cases

One of the most effective ways to mount a defense in a vehicular homicide case is to attack the DWI charge. If your defense attorney is able to show that you were not, in fact, intoxicated at the time the accident occurred, the charges against you could be reduced.

Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide

In 2017, the New Jersey Legislature recognized the difficulty in prosecuting Vehicular Homicide Cases, and created a new Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide Caused by DWI. Under this new law, the state does not have to prove that you were the cause of the accident casing death. The State only needs to prove that you were behind the wheel and intoxicated. In other words, that DWI was the cause of the accident…even if you were not at fault.

This is a Third-degree crime, but unlike other third degree crimes, where prison is not mandatory, this offense carries a minimum three-years in prison. 

New Jersey Accident Causing Injury

If there was an accident causing injury, the driver could be charged with a separate crime of aggravated assault by auto even if you did not intend to injure somebody. The mere fact that you may have been reckless when you caused that accident is enough to charge you with the aggravated assault by auto. The prosecution must prove the following elements:

  1. The defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  2. The defendant was either physically or legally intoxicated.

New Jersey does not have a per se drug amount, but in an accident causing serious bodily injury or even death , officers would order an analysis to determine how much of a drug was in the defendant’s system.

Penalties

If a person drives an automobile while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and they cause an accident that results in serious bodily injury, this offense will be charged as a crime of the fourth degree. If convicted, you could face:
Jail SentenceDegree of Crime
Up to 18 MonthsFourth Degree
If the accident causing injury happened in a school zone or a school crossing, even if children weren’t present or school was out, then that becomes a crime of the second degree, which is punishable by:
Jail SentenceDegree of Crime
5 - 10 years Second Degree

New Jersey DWI & Job Loss

One of the most common concerns people have when facing a DWI is how a DWI will impact their career. While the answer will vary from person to person, it is something that you should be thinking about and planning for. People do lose their jobs because of the complications a DWI can produce.

Your license will be suspended if you are convicted of DWI. If your job involves a lot of driving, your employer may let you go you if you are not able to perform all of your duties at work. CDL drivers are especially at risk for termination. If you are a licensed professional such as a teacher, nurse, or doctor, you may face disciplinary action.

Military personnel and police officers can even be suspended for DWI violations. A DWI can also affect your ability to land a job in the future. A DWI conviction will remain on your permanent record, which is visible on background checks. Drunk driving carries a heavy social stigma and may cause an employer to reject your application.

New Jersey DWI in a School Zone

The state of New Jersey has enhanced penalties for DWI violations that occur in a school zone. Under New Jersey law, a school zone is:

  1. Any property owned by or leased to an elementary school, secondary school or school board that is used for school purposes
  2. A radius of 1,000 feet from school property
  3. A designated school crossing
  4. A school crossing that is not designated but that children or minors are using at the time of a violation

The wide 1,000-foot range included in this definition means that school zones are expansive. For example, school zones may also include athletic fields, which may be far from the main campus; however, since they are owned by the school, the fields and the 1,000-foot areas surrounding them fall under this definition.

Penalties for a School Zone DWI

If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated in a school zone, the penalties may include the following:

OffenseJail SentenceLicense SuspensionFinesSurcharge
1st Offense60 Days1 - 2 Years$500-$800$3500+
2nd Offense4 - 180 Days4 Years$1000-$2000$3500+
3rd Offense180 Days20 Years$2000$5000+

DWI with Minor in the Vehicle

If you are charged with a DWI in New Jersey, and there is a minor in the car, you face serious consequences. If you are the parent or guardian of that minor, you can be charged with a criminal offense for child endangerment. The penalties for DWI with a minor in the vehicle are in addition to those that will be imposed if you are convicted of a DWI. They include:

  1. Additional license suspension
  2. Jail sentence
  3. $1,000 fine
  4. Maximum five days of community service

If there is an injury or accident, the driver could be charged with endangering the welfare of a child—a third degree crime, punishable by three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

New Jersey Federal DUI / DWI Defense

From national parks to military installations, there are many areas in New Jersey that are considered federal lands. A DWI violation on this land will result in a Federal DWI charge.

Penalties for a Federal DUI

There are two types of federal DWI offenses: those committed on lands managed by the National Park Service and those committed on other lands, such as military bases.

Lands Administered by the National Park ServiceFederal Lands not Administered by the National Park Serivce
Note: In some cases, if the offense is committed on a military base, additional penalties may apply.
Up to 6 Months in Federal Prison and Up to $5000 in FinesPrevailing New Jersey State Law

Federal DWI cases are handled as bench trials in federal courts. A conviction will be recorded on your federal criminal history. There is no possibility for expungement unless the President of the United States pardons you.

New Jersey Commercial Driver DWI

Commercial driver’s license holders face harsh penalties for a DWI conviction in New Jersey. If you are a CDL holder, even a first-time DWI offense could render severe consequences—including the loss of your career. Many trucking companies are hesitant to offer work to someone who has a drunk driving conviction. According to New Jersey state law, a CDL driver can be charged with DWI if he or she:

  1. Operates a private vehicle while having a BAC of 0.08% or higher
  2. Operates a commercial vehicle while having a BAC of 0.04% or higher
  3. Operates a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance
  4. Refuses to submit to a chemical test

Penalties for a First Offense CDL DWI

DescriptionBACJail SentenceLicense SuspensionIDRC DetentionFinesSurcharge
Normal DWI.08-.099Up to 30 Days3 Months12- 48 Hours$250-$400$3500+
High Rate or Refusal .10+Up to 30 Days7 - 12 Months12 - 48 Hours$300-$500$3500+
Controlled SubstanceN/AUp to 30 Days7 - 12 Months12 - 48 Hours$300-$500$3500+
CDL SuspensionCDL Suspension for Violation in a HAZMAT Vehicle
Additional CDL Penalties1 Year3 Years

Penalties for a Second Offense CDL DWI

DescriptionJail SentenceLicense SuspensionIDRC DetentionFinesSurcharge
Normal DWI2 - 90 Days2 Years12 - 48 Hours$500-$1000$3500+
CDL Suspension
Additional CDL PenaltiesLifetime Suspension

NJ DWI with CDL Commercial Driver’s License

Did you know that a second DWI conviction for NJ truck drivers could mean losing your CDL license for LIFE? Yes life! Add to that fines, jail time, and additional penalties. It does not make a difference whether the DWI truck driver was driving the commercial truck or his own personal car at the time of the arrest. The penalty is the same.

Loss of CDL = Loss of Employment

This applies to any Commercial Driving License holders who ‎operate vehicles such as busses, tractor-trailers, vehicles hauling ‎hazardous materials, etc. Therefore the stakes are high for CDL with DWI. The legal limit of Blood Alcohol Content for truck drivers is .04% which is half of the normal limit which is .08% as stated according to NJ State Law under ‎N.J S. 39:3-10.13. Even for a CDL holder’s first DWI offense the penalties are substantially greater than those for a non-CDL holder. ‎For example, the minimum drunk ‎driving license suspension for a first offense is 3 months. But for a CDL holder it is one-year. ‎Furthermore, it is possible that that a CDL holder could be subjected ‎to double penalties for a single DUI conviction

After all that, if a person is caught driving a commercial vehicle while one’s CDL is suspended or taken away by the MVC, may face fines of up to $5,000 and ‎a 90 day jail term. Recently,  numerous arrests were made in NJ for presenting false identities to obtain driver’s licenses, including those of truck and bus drivers who lost their licenses due to DWI convictions.

A CDL holder will be punished the same way no matter if the DWI occurred in a commercial or non-commercial vehicle. So even if you were driving a private vehicle, your CDL will be suspended for one year upon a first-time DWI conviction – no questions asked.

New Jersey Pilots & DWI

If you hold an aircraft pilot’s license, you understand the rigorous testing and hours of flight time involved in obtaining licensure. Now imagine all your hard work being unraveled by a single mistake. If you are convicted of DWI in New Jersey, that is exactly what could happen.

If you are convicted of DWI, you face the real risk of having your professional pilot’s license suspended or revoked, depending on your previous disciplinary history and criminal record. A license suspension or revocation could jeopardize your career and your future. Additionally, the FAA has special reporting requirements for pilots, and if you fail to report an arrest for DWI within the allotted time period, your license could be suspended—even if you are found not guilty.

Provisional Licenses or Work Permits

It is important to understand that because New Jersey DOES NOT OFFER any type of provisional licenses, you will be unable to drive in any capacity while your driver’s license is suspended. Without a drivers license, you will not be able to drive to work, take your kids to school or even run errands. Driving with a suspended license could result in very serious consequences.

No Criminal Record

Unlike many other states, DWI is not a crime in New Jersey. Under our laws, it is considered a motor vehicle violation. Because DWI is not a crime, it differs from other serious offenses in a number of ways. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that a conviction will not result in a criminal record, no matter how many prior offenses you may have. Instead, each conviction will only appear on your driving record.

No Plea Bargains

On the other hand, there is little leeway with DWI sentencing. In fact, judges in DWI cases are required to adhere to statutory requirements when sentencing individuals who are convicted of DWI. This means that there are no plea bargains, no temporary licenses, no sentencing alternatives and no probation.

Although DWI is not considered a crime in New Jersey, it is still a serious offense that can result in life-changing penalties, expensive fines and even the loss of your driver’s license.