You had a good driving record and had never had any previous problems with law enforcement. But then, a series of events resulted in you getting pulled over, accused of drunk driving and arrested. You now find yourself facing charges of a first offense of DWI.
When you, your child or another loved one ends up in such a situation, your first concern may be about the future. How much can a first-time DUI charge impact a person’s life?
A first-time drunk driving offense can carry many penalties
The reality is that first-time drunk driving cases can have major implications regarding people’s futures. DUI convictions, even of a first offense, carry significant consequences here in New Jersey. Among the things individuals found guilty of first-offense DWI in the state generally face are:
- The possibility of prison time (up to 30 days)
- A license suspension
- A fine
- A car insurance surcharge
- A requirement to spend time at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
Penalties vary based on BAC level
The severity level of some of these penalties depends on what BAC level a first-time DWI offense involved. Here in New Jersey, a first offense involving a BAC of .10 or higher carries some higher penalty ranges than a first offense involving a BAC under .10. A first offense with a BAC at or above .10 typically triggers:
- A fine of $300 to $500, rather than $250 to $400
- A license suspension of seven months to a year, rather than three months
What happens in a first-offense DWI case matters
Given the possible penalties and consequences, when you or a loved one is facing a first-time charge of drunk driving in the state, a lot can be hanging in the balance. So, what is done in regards to a defense can be of very high importance for you or your loved one.