In New Jersey, a person with a BAC of 0.08% or greater who operates a motor vehicle or a boat is considered to be driving under the influence (DUI).
Being convicted of a DUI is a serious offense, carrying heavy penalties including:
- Fines, fees and surcharges
- Jail time
- Community service
According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) a first offense of a DUI (BAC .08% or more but less than .10%) has several penalties attached to it, per N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, including:
- Three-month suspension of driving privilege
- $250 to $400 fine
- 12- to 48-hour participation in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
- $230 per day IDRC fee
- Up to 30 days imprisonment
- $100 Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund fee (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.8)
- $100 Alcohol Education, Rehabilitation and Enforcement Fund (AERF) fee
- $1,000 annual surcharge for three years
- $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund fee (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3.2)
- Possible interlock device requirement for six months to one year (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.17)
So it appears there are some serious penalties in New Jersey for a first time DUI including a 3 month suspension of your license in their state, since you are licensed out of state.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) notes on one of their fact sheets online that with out-of-state DUI convictions they do not had out a license suspension for first offense but will penalized you with a 12 month license suspension for a second or subsequent DUI offense.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania are both members of the Drivers License Compact (DLC) so if you are convicted of the NJ DUI than PennDOT will be informed. The PennDOT DLC fact sheet states that the following offenses, if committed in a member state, would be treated as though the offense had occurred in Pennsylvania and the appropriate sanction would be imposed under the provisions of the PA Vehicle Code:
- Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle (Section 3732);
- Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a narcotic to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle (Section 3731);
- Failure to stop and render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another (Section 3742);
- Any felony in the commission
So your home state of Pennsylvania may still penalize you in other ways, besides a license suspension for your NJ DUI. It does appear that in years past you could have received a suspension for an out of state DUI. The PennDOT site states that if you have a DUI violation occurred prior to 2/1/04; PennDOT will impose a 1 year suspension. If your violation occurred on or after 2/1/04 and it is your first DUI, PennDOT will take no suspension action. If it is your second or subsequent PennDOT will impose a 1 year suspension.
If you are convicted of a serious traffic offense in a DLC member state, that state is required to report the conviction to PennDOT. Upon receipt of the conviction, PennDOT will mail you an official notice of suspension with a date the suspension will begin if they determine your license is suspended here. Credit toward serving your suspension will begin once you have surrendered your valid driver's license, camera card and/or learner's permit to PennDOT.
If you need to know more about the penalties you could be facing for your New Jersey DUI charge you can contact the NJ court listed on your citation and/or the NJ MVC. Then for the penalties you may face in Pennsylvania contact PennDOT directly to more information.