The 411 On New Jersey DUI Surcharges
If you are a New Jersey resident with multiple points on your driving record or have been convicted of traffic offenses such as drunk driving, expect to pay more than just a ticket as your penalty. The state of New Jersey will assess a surcharge on your offenses for three years.
Under New Jersey motor vehicle laws, a traffic violation that causes points to go on your record prompts a review of your driving history. If you receive six or more points over a three-year period for various offenses, the state will assess surcharges ranging from $100 to $1,500. If that isn’t enough, you’ll risk a suspended driver’s license if you do not pay the surcharges.
According to the state of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), the surcharges pay for the state bond debt and fund alcohol treatment programs for drunk drivers. Here are some answers to FAQ for DUI surcharges received in New Jersey:
What Drivers Must Pay
The MVC assesses a surcharge for three years for the following violations:
1. $100 for driving without a license, driving with an expired licensed, and failure to insure a moped. The surcharge over three years totals $300.
2. $250 for driving without auto insurance and driving with a suspended licensed, a total surcharge of $750 over three years.
3. $1,000 for a first and second offense of driving while impaired (DWI) and for refusing to take a breathalyzer test. The surcharge totals $3,000 over three years.
4. $1,500 for a third DWI, if it happened within three years of the last offense, meaning a total of $4,500.
A surcharge assessed for three years can create a financial hardship for you and your family. Attorney fees, court fines, paying for an alcohol treatment program and other court-mandated requirements add up over time. These costs are in addition to any fees levied by the MVC for your driver’s license restoration.
You’ll face even more financial pressure if you miss work or lose your job because you went to jail on your DWI charge. Your family is placed at a disadvantage, since the bills begin to mount and your spouse may not be able to pay them off because of the income loss.
You can appeal your conviction, but the state laws are pretty strict when it comes to paying surcharges. For instance, drivers convicted of driving while impaired who move out of New Jersey are still required to pay the surcharges. New Jersey drivers convicted of a DWI in another state are still assessed a surcharge.
Ask for Help
If you find yourself facing drunk driving charges which leads to these surcharges, enlist the help of a DWI attorney. These specialized lawyers can challenge the initial drunk driving offense and might be able to get it reduced to a lesser offense. Consulting with a DWI attorney immediately after an arrest may prevent any future convictions that would bring surcharges.
The best way to avoid paying surcharges of any kind is to follow state traffic laws and don’t drive after drinking alcohol. In this way, other motorists will not be placed in harm’s way because of your drunk driving and your money will stay where it belongs – in your wallet.
Having grown up and driven in New Jersey enables Nadine Swayne to forward this information. While researching for data on FAQ for DUI and other charges drivers face, she found these invaluable facts.
Photo credit #1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/8489493920/
Photo credit #2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/86530412@N02/8265140843/
Photo credit #3: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/6881494634/
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