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Penalties for a New Jersey DWI First Offense

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.

Tier Description Jail Sentence License Suspension IDRC Detainment Fines Surcharges
General DWI B.A.C.=.08 to 0.099%, Up to 30 days 3 months 12-48 hours $250-$400 $3,000+
High Rate DWI B.A.C.=.10 or higher,
Controlled Substance DWI
Up to 30 days 7-12 months 12-48 hours $300-$500 $3,000+

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.

A Word About Temporary Driving Permits

New Jersey does not allow work permits or limited driving licenses during a license suspension period. A DWI license suspension means no driving—period.