NEW JERSEY-New Jersey has sued three oil companies and several gas stations for allegedly gouging drivers during Hurricane Katrina. The lawsuits accuse Hess, Motiva Shell and Sunoco with artificially inflating gas prices and for increasing prices more than the once-a-day legal limit. Independent gas station operators selling Hess, Shell, Sunoco and Citgo brands were also sued. The investigation began after consumers started complaining about steep and sudden rises in gas prices in the beginning of September. New Jersey gas prices hit their highest-ever levels on Sept. 5, at an average of $3.16 per 1 gallon (euro2.60 per 3.8 liters) of regular gas. The complaint also claims that drivers were charged for more gasoline than they received, or that they were charged for premium gas but given regular. Fines are up $10,000 for Consumer Fraud Act violations and up to $200 for violating the Motor Fuels Act.