A third or subsequent drunk driving offense in New Jersey is governed by N.J.S. 39:4-50 which provides in pertinent part:

(3) For a third or subsequent violation, a person shall be subject to a fine of $1,000.00, and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 180 days in a county jail or workhouse, except that the court may lower such term for each day, not exceeding 90 days, served participating in a drug or alcohol inpatient rehabilitation program approved by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and shall thereafter forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for 10 years. For a third or subsequent violation, a person also shall be required to install an ignition interlock device under the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.) or shall have his registration certificate and registration plates revoked for 10 years under the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1995, c. 286 (C.39:3-40.1).

As you can see from the above statute, the penalties for a third or subsequent drunk driving offense in New Jersey are severe. They include:

  • Fine: $1,000.00
  • Jail: 180 days (90 days of which can be served through a State approved in-patient rehabilitation facility)
  • Ten (10) year driver’s license suspension
  • Ignition interlock device: Mandatory one (1) to three (3) years; required to be installed during period of suspension and additional 1-3 year period.
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): In accordance with individual treatment classification

There are several ways to challenge a third or subsequent DWI offense in New Jersey if you hire the right attorney. There may be a ten-year stepdown which allows this offense to be treated as a first or second violation. There may be a Laurick or Barbosa issue which involves whether or not you were represented by counsel for your prior offenses and whether or not there was a proper factual basis taken at the time of your prior offenses. Our criminal defense team will also examine the probable cause for the stop, the field sobriety tests, and the foundational documents for the Alcotest machine used to determine if there are any trial or sentencing issues in your case.