New Jersey DUI Laws: FAQ

Can I refuse to take a Breath Test after being pulled over for DUI in New Jersey?

No. By driving on the roads of New Jersey, according to statute, "Any person who operates a motor vehicle on any public road, street or highway or quasi-­public area in this State shall be deemed to have given his consent to the taking of samples of his breath for the purpose of making chemical tests to determine the content of alcohol in his blood."

Do the same penalties apply for DUI as refusing to take a Breath Test in New Jersey?

They are similar. New Jersey has an Implied Consent Law that states that all drivers operating on New Jersey roadways have agreed to submit to a breath test following an arrest for a drinking and driving offense. If you refuse to take the breath test you will be detained and face up to three years of surcharges and suspension.

The refusal to submit to a breath test is equivalent to driving with a BAC of .10% or higher, therefore you will lose your driving privileges for up to one year on top of a possible DUI conviction.

What are the penalties for DUI in New Jersey?

Penalties for a 1st Offense include (BAC 0.08-0.10):

  • License Loss For 3 Months,
  • Up to 30 days in Jail,
  • 12-48 hours of alcohol awareness classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC),
  • $250–$400 Fine, and
  • Additional Surcharges and Fees($230 IDRC fee, $100 to drunk driving fund, $100 to Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund (AERF),$1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge $75 to Neighborhood Services Fund.


Penalties will increase if your BAC exceeds 0.10 including:

  • License Loss For 7 Months to 1 Year,
  • Up to 30 Days in Jail,
  • 12-48 Hours IDRC,
  • $300–$500 Fine, and
  • Additional Surcharges and Fees ($230 IDRC fee, $100 to drunk driving fund, $100 to AERF, $1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge, and $75 to Neighborhood Services Fund).


2nd Offense within 10 Years:

  • 2 Year License Suspension,
  • 48 Hours to 90 Days in Jail,
  • $500-$1,000 Fine,
  • Additional Fees and Surcharges ($280 IDRC fee, $100 to drunk driving fund, $100 to AERF, $1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge, and $75 to Neighborhood Services Fund),
  • 30 days of Community Service,
  • 12–48 hours IDRC, and
  • Ignition interlock device during license suspension and 1-3 years following restoration.


3rd Offense within 10 Years:

  • 10 Year License Loss,
  • 180 Days in Jail,
  • $1,000 Fine,
  • Same Surcharges and Fees as a 2nd Offense,
  • Up to 90 days Community Service,
  • 12–48 hours IDRC, and
  • Ignition interlock device during license suspension and 1-3 years following restoration.

What happens if I am convicted of DUI while driving within 1,000 feet of school property or a school crossing zone in New Jersey?

For a first offense, you will be fined from $500 to $800. You will be sentenced to jail for up to 60 days. Your driver's license will be suspended for a period of one to two years. For a second offense, you will be fined $1,000 to $2000. You must perform community service for a period of 60 days. You will be sentenced to jail for 96 hours to 180 days. The court may lower the jail term for each day, not exceeding 90 days, served performing community service.

Your driver's license will be suspended for 4 years. For a third offense, you will be fined $2,000. You will be sentenced to 180 days in jail. Your driving privileges will be suspended for a period of 20 years. The period of license suspension begins after you have completed any prison sentence imposed upon you.

It is not a defense that you were unaware that the prohibited conduct took place while on or within 1,000 feet of any school property or while driving through a school crossing. It is also not a defense that no juveniles were present on the school property or crossing zone at the time of the offense or that the school was not in session.

What happens if I am under 21 and charged with DUI in New Jersey?

If you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or more, but less than 0.08%, you will forfeit your right to operate a motor vehicle in New Jersey or be prohibited from obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle in New Jersey for 30 to 90 days beginning on the date you become eligible to obtain a license or on the day of conviction, whichever is later. You must perform community service for a period of not less than 15 or more than 30 days. You have to satisfy the program and fee requirements of the IDRC. These penalties are in addition to the penalties which the court may impose under the DWI and criminal laws.

What happens if I drive with a DUI suspended license in New Jersey?

Upon conviction you will be fined an additional $500; your license will be suspended for an additional period of one to two years; and you will be sentenced to jail for not less than 10 days or more than 90 days.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

Additional Drunk Driving Articles

Search LawInfo's Drunk Driving Resources

Lead Counsel Rated Law Firm

Click Here to Learn More