Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

3 financial consequences of a New Jersey drunk driving offense

Many people facing drunk driving charges in New Jersey feel embarrassed and want to minimize the exposure they have for the charges against them. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges could hurt their careers and their social lives. Staying out of court is often a top priority, especially for professionals who worry about their reputations.

People think that if they try to fight their charges, their story will be more likely to make the news and they will be more likely to have social repercussions for the charges against them. They might see pleading guilty as a way to prevent others from hearing about their arrest.

However, pleading guilty to a drunk driving offense will typically mean accepting substantial financial consequences. What are the different ways that a drunk driving charge in New Jersey will cost you?

The courts will assess fines

A DWI charge can carry numerous criminal penalties. The state may incarcerate you or put you on probation. You will likely have to pay fines, as well as court costs. Depending on your driving history, those costs could be hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars.

You will pay increased insurance expenses

An impaired driving offense makes you seem like a bigger claim risk to your motor vehicle liability insurance provider. Drivers in New Jersey without a DWI offense on their record pay on average $1,592 for insurance. After a DWI, the price someone pays will increase by 74% to $2,773 per year.  Over the course of several years, that massive increase will add up to a big financial impact.

You may need to cover the cost of IID installation

New Jersey often requires that drivers install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicles after a drunk driving charge. Not only do you have to pay for the device, but you will also have to pay to have it calibrated and maintained. There will be an upfront cost and monthly expenses if you want to keep your driver’s license following a drunk driving conviction.

Those who mount a vigorous defense may be able to avoid many of the expenses so with drunk driving charges. Fighting back against allegations of impaired driving will protect you both legally and financially.

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