The only scientific way to determine whether a driver is under the influence is through blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Your BAC can be tested with a simple Breathalyzer test.
In New Jersey, a person with a BAC of 0.08% or greater who operates a motor vehicle or a boat is considered to be driving under the influence (DUI).
Being convicted of a DUI is a serious offense, carrying heavy penalties including:
- Fines, fees and surcharges
- License suspension
- Ignition interlock device
- Jail time
- Community service
To find out more, visit The State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission website below.
In New Jersey if you get arrested for a DUI, you must take a Breathalyzer test. When you get your license in New Jersey, you give consent for this test, known as “implied consent.” If you refuse to take a Breathalyzer test, you will be detained and brought to a hospital where hospital staff may draw blood.
If you refuse a Breathalyzer test, you will face the same loss of driving privileges as a DUI offense.
If you are under 21 years old and are convicted for driving or boating with a BAC of .01% or higher, the following penalties apply:
- 30–90 day license suspension
- Possible combination of the minimum sentences above and select DUI Mandatory Fines and Penalties, depending on the situation
- 15–30 days mandatory community service
- Participation in alcohol education and highway safety programs at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
- If you are unlicensed and under 17 years of age at the time of the incident, you are subject to a 30–90 day delay in processing your driver license
IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE
If your license was suspended for a DUI offense, the court may require you to get an ignition interlock device to prevent a vehicle from starting if your BAC exceeds 0.05%.
IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE REQUIREMENTS
- First DUI Offense: Installation of interlock device for six months to one year upon restoration (judge’s discretion); BAC 0.15% or greater requires mandatory installation of ignition interlock device during license suspension and for 6 months to 1 year following restoration.
- Second DUI Offense: Mandatory installation of interlock device during license suspension and for 1 to 3 years following restoration.
- Third DUI Offense: Mandatory installation of interlock device during license suspension and for 1 to 3 years following restoration.
If the court sentences you to get an interlock device, you will receive a notice of suspension from MVC with instructions on how to obtain the device. IMPORTANT NOTE: Failure to have an ignition interlock installed when ordered by a judge could result in an additional one year driving privilege suspension.
INTOXICATED DRIVER PROGRAM (IDP)
Any person convicted of an alcohol related traffic offense must participate in a program at an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC):
- New Jersey has an IDRC in each county for first and third-time offenders and three regional centers for second-time offenders
- During the program, offenders attend mandatory Alcohol and Highway Safety Education courses
- IDRC also evaluates each offender for an alcohol or drug problem and determines the need for treatment
- If treatment is needed, the offende must complete a 16-week minimum treatment
- IDRC monitors compliance and reports noncompliance to the courts and IDP. IDP makes recommendation to the MVC for suspension or restoration based on the offender’s successful completion of conviction requirements.
- Satisfactory participation in IDRC is a step toward restoring your license. Failure to comply will result in further license suspension and possible jail time.