New Jersey DUI

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Your driving record is used to determine your premium when you apply for car insurance coverage. A clean driving record is a key to getting better car insurance rates.

A DUI conviction can lead to major changes in your car insurance. These are the possible consequences of being convicted of DUI in New Jersey.

What does a DUI do to your insurance rates?

Car insurance companies consider your driving record only one part of their risk assessment. You could be a high risk driver if you are convicted of DUI or have tickets.

Below is a chart that shows how your car insurance premiums could be affected. The average national rate increases by 99% if a DUI has been recorded. Your rates could rise by an average 86% if you are convicted of a DUI in New Jersey. This is a substantial increase in your out-of-pocket expenses, but not as severe.

Average DUI rates for the United States vs. their respective states

Pre-DUIAfter DUIPercentage increase
National$1,674$3,33699%
New Jersey$1,757$3,26486%

What is the cost of insurance for New Jersey after a DUI?

Every car insurer in New Jersey has a different rate structure, so the rate may vary from one company to the next. Below are the rates of minimum and maximum coverage for New Jersey drivers before and after a DUI conviction.

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New Jersey provider rates for DUI coverage

ProviderAverage minimum coverage rateDUI coverage minimum rate
Allstate$909$1,985
American Independent$1,463$2,391
Amica$430$1,146
Farmers$1,359$1,565
Geico$559$987
Mercury$1,022$1,580
MetLife$795$2,182
NJM$370$409
Palisades$528$859
Penn National$970$2,292
Progressive$735$850
Selective$474$762
State Farm$724$2,796
The Hanover$2,123$3,461
Tower Grp$1,087$2,471
Travelers$703$1,219

New Jersey provider rates for DUI coverage

ProviderAverage coverage rateFull coverage with DUI
Allstate$1,686$3,736
American Independent$3,414$4,732
Amica$1,504$4,632
Farmers$2,803$3,450
Geico$1,316$2,274
Mercury$1,845$2,781
MetLife$1,307$3,853
NJM$1,271$1,429
Palisades$1,135$1,958
Penn National$1,820$4,101
Progressive$1,469$1,720
Selective$1,085$1,790
State Farm$1,244$4,793
The Hanover$4,638$7,138
Tower Grp$2,010$5,017
Travelers$1,320$2,336

Other New Jersey DUI Penalties

High insurance premiums will be one of the consequences of a New Jersey DUI. An DUI can run up to $20,000, if you include fines, fees and jail time.

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For three years, drivers who are convicted of DUI or DWI in New Jersey and refuse to take a field sobriety exam will be subject to an annual surcharge. For the first offense, the surcharge is $3,000 or $1,000 per year. The surcharge for a second or more offense is $3,000 per year, or $4,500 in total.

Adults who refuse to take the field sobriety tests can have their license suspended for up to one year. They could also be subject to up to $500 in penalties.

DUI First Offense

New Jersey, like many other states, takes DUI/DWI very seriously. Even for the first offense. The severity of your consequences will depend on how drunk you are, what you drive and what age you are.

Drivers younger than 21 years old cannot drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.01% or higher. A driver under 21 years old will be charged with driving while impaired if they have a BAC between 0.01% and 0.08%.

  • License suspensions up to 90 days
  • Community service for up to 30 days
  • Before a license can be reinstated, you must complete and participate in a treatment program.
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Adults who have committed a first offense could be facing:

  • Jail Time: Maximum 30 Days
  • Fines: Maximum $400, $500 if BAC is greater than 0.10%. $100 victim’s fee and Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund. $75 Neighborhood Services Fund.
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, (IDRC), Program: 6 hours per Day for 2 consecutive Days
  • Licensing suspension: Three months, or up to a full year if BAC exceeds 0.10%
  • Ignition Interlock device: 3 months or 7 month if your BAC is greater than 0.1%, or up to 15 months for a BAC of 0.15% or more
  • Driving with a passenger under 18: You will be charged with disorderly persons offense, community service, and longer license suspension
  • If you are within 1,000 feet of a school zone, there may be a $800 fine and 2 months imprisonment. License suspensions can also be taken for up to 2 years.

DUI Second Offense

A second offense that occurs more than 10 years after the original offense is charged will be treated as a first offense. Here’s what to expect if it occurs within 10 years of your first offense:

  • Jail Time: Maximum 90 Days
  • Fines up to $1,000 plus court fees, victim’s and reeducation funding and surcharge starting with the first offense
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, (IDRC), Program: Minimum 12 hours or complete the full program
  • Suspend your license for 2 years
  • Ignition Interlock device: License suspension up to 4 years after restoration
  • Community service: 30 Days
  • Driving with a passenger under 18: Similar to the first offense, but with longer hours and a longer license suspension, determined judge
  • If you are within 1,000 feet of a school zone, you could be subject to a $2,000 fine and a 4 year license suspension. You will also spend 180 days in prison or 60 days doing community service.
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DUI Third Offense

A third offense will be considered a second offense if it occurs within the 10-year window. Here’s what a third offense might look like if it does not happen within the 10 year window.

  • Jail Time: Maximum 180 days. (Could be reduced up to 90 if you are participating in rehab approved IDRC).
  • Fines up to $1,000 plus court fees, victim’s and reeducation funding and surcharge starting with the first offense
  • Program for Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, (IDRC). Minimum 12 hours or complete the full program
  • Suspend your license for 8-10 years
  • Ignition Interlock device: License suspension up to 4 years after restoration
  • Community service: 30 Days
  • Driving with a passenger under 18: Similar to the first offense, but with longer hours and a longer license suspension, determined judge
  • If you are within 1,000 feet of a school zone, $2,000 fine, 20 year license suspension, 180 day in jail, 60 day community service

FAQ

What is the New Jersey DUI penalty?

There are many penalties for DUI in New Jersey. They vary depending on the offense, where you were and what your BAC at the time. Refusing to take the field sobriety exam can result in an automatic year suspension of license and up $500 in fines.

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Is it mandatory to serve jail time for the first DUI in NJ

Although not required, jail time is sometimes given to DUI offenders in New Jersey. Participation in IDRC and community service could be an alternative. However, it is up to the judge.

Is a DUI ever cured in NJ?

New Jersey doesn’t charge criminals with DUI misdemeanors or felonys, unlike other states. You won’t be charged with a crime, but a DUI will remain on your driving record in NJ for life.

What is the best way to get my NJ DUI license back?

Before you can reinstate your New Jersey driver’s license, fees and penalties will need to be paid. The $100 restoration fee and proof of payment for any outstanding tickets or fines are required. To renew your license if you lost your license while it was suspended, you must follow the normal licensing procedures.

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