Consequences of a NJ DWI Conviction
The repercussions of a New Jersey drunk driving conviction are extremely serious, and can include fines and surcharges, both to the State of New Jersey and from the insurance company, and lengthy driver's license suspensions.
In addition, DWI convictions may include or affect:
- Admission to foreign countries like Canada and Singapore;
- If a CDL driver, separate suspension of CDL;
- Installation of an ignition interlock on the vehicle principally operated by the convicted motorist;
- No work license or hardship license in New Jersey;
- Loss of insurance - an automobile insurance company can surcharge a convicted motorist, and/or may drop coverage completely;
- Insurance coverage for any accident related to the DWI: an insurance company can disclaim coverage for the accident because of a DWI / DUI conviction;
- Inability to obtain life insurance or other forms of insurance;
- Employment issues if the employee is allowed to drive employer-insured vehicles: an insurance carrier may want to exclude or increase the premiums;
- Current employment if disclosure of the conviction is required by contract, agreement, or employee manual;
- Job applications;
- Professional license applications;
- School applications or admission;
- School teachers may not have their contracts renewed, or may have tenure issues;
- Community service on second offenses of 180 hours;
- Mandatory counseling or alcohol treatment through the Intoxicated Driver's Resource Center (IDRC). The IDRC can also compel additional counseling than the court's sentence, including an additional 16 week program of classes;
- If caught driving while suspended for a DWI conviction, there is mandatory jail time, and additional driver's license suspension;
- Inability to rent cars;
- Credit issues, since many credit bureaus include drunk driving convictions on credit reports. This may affect future credit, but it may also prevent convicted drivers from getting jobs where the prospective employer runs a credit check in processing job applications;
- Those in military service who are charged with or convicted of drunk driving offenses can be summarily discharged or required to take extensive alcohol education courses, restricted to military bases, prevent deployment, deprived of normal base privileges, or given other forms of punishment. Military personnel are subjected to military rules, even if the arrest occurs off base and there has been no conviction--like loss of rank or grade, counseling, loss of license for on base driving for one year, base restriction, and discharge or rejection of right to re-enlist;
- Pilots may lose their flying licenses;
- CPAs may have to report convictions under the full financial disclosure rules of the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act;
- Government Security Clearance review and revocation may be triggered to determine whether the DUI is an indication of the individual being a risk to National Security by the intemperate use or abuse of alcohol;
- Child custody issues;
- Concealed weapons permits; and,
- Future convictions for DWI / DUI within ten years will result in enhanced penalties.
This is not an exhaustive list.
There is no expungement of a New Jersey DWI conviction, so these possible consequences may linger.
There are many other possible complications from a New Jersey DWI conviction. As a result, make sure you hire the most qualified attorney you can.
Because the consequences of a NJ DUI / DWI conviction are so severe, skilled legal representation is essential. A New Jersey DWI lawyer who concentrates on drunk driving cases will fight hard to protect the accused motorist's driving privileges.