If you are a first-time convicted offender with no extenuating factors (like high alcohol level, a minor in the vehicle, violation in a school zone, or refusal of alcohol testing, etc.) you will lose your driving privileges for a minimum of 3 months and up to 12 months (doubled if convicted in a school zone), face at least a $250 fine, and be required to complete a 12-hour Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP) course through your local county Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). If your alcohol level is 0.15% or greater, you must install an ignition interlock device in the vehicle you drive for 6-12 months after your driving privileges are restored.
If you are convicted of a second offense, you will lose your New Jersey driving privileges for two years, pay a fine of at least $500, attend a 48-hour IDRC session while being detained, and perform 30 days of community service. You must also install an ignition interlock device in the car that you operate for a period of 1-3 years after your driving privileges are restored.
If convicted of a third DWI, you will lose your New Jersey driving privileges for 10 years, the fine is $1,000, you must be sentenced to jail for up to 180 days (90 of which may be served in an in-patient rehabilitative facility), and be required to install an ignition interlock device in your car for a period of 1-3 years after your license is re-instated. You will also follow up the other parts of your sentence through a 12-48 hour IDP detainment, at which time you may be referred for additional services and treatment.
For first, second and third offenses and higher – in addition to these penalties and fines, there are other surcharges from the state and your insurance company that total at least $6,000 over a 3 year period.
The Intoxicated Driving Program falls under the oversight of the Division of Addiction Services of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. It works in coordination with the county IDRCs and the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).
You will be notified when and where to report for your IDRC session. During the assigned time, you will be completing an educational component, including active discussion periods. The course content includes information about alcoholism and drug addiction, its effects on personal and professional relationships, and legal issues.
During both the 12 and 48 hour courses, you will also meet with a counselor who will assess your situation and identify additional assistance you may need. Depending on the assessment, you may be referred for additional services like counseling, addiction treatment programs or support group attendance, to help you deal with the problems that led to your conviction. Your participation in recommended services becomes part of your sentence; your attendance may be monitored. You are responsible for any costs for additional treatment.
Even if you do not reside in New Jersey but have been convicted of traffic violations under the influence, you are still responsible for completing the IDRC course, participating in recommended treatment plans and paying the fees. In some circumstances, arrangements will be made to complete your sentence requirements through your home state.
If you choose not to appear for the IDRC session, do not complete the prescribed programs or do not pay the necessary fees, you will face additional penalties. The suspension time of your license is likely to be extended, and if the situation is not resolved you could face a 48 hour stint in jail for failure to comply.
The Motor Vehicle Commission will send official notice of your license suspension. At that time there are additional fees due to the MVC and the IDRC totaling $200. Once the suspension period has ended, you will need to contact the MVC to receive confirmation that your driving privileges have been restored. You will not be able to legally drive without written proof that your license has been re-instated and you have complied with any interlock requirements.
You usually have to attend IDRC classes in the county where you were convicted. The class is usually located in the town where the county court is located.
First offender IDRC classes are usually held during daytime hours during the week. On a first offense, it is possible your driving privilege may be restored prior to completing the IDRC classes. However, if you fail to appear, your license may be revoked again.
Second offender 48 hour IDRC classes are usually held over a weekend time period at an overnight facility.
Third offenders are usually assessed for a 12 hour period and then referred for additional treatment.
Any driver who requires additional programming in the discretion of the IDRC can be ordered into a 16 week program of additional treatment.
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