An order for installation of an ignition interlock device has become a mandatory penalty, in many circumstances, for DWI and Refusal charges in New Jersey. However, the law does allow a judge the discretion to not impose an interlock device if it is a defendant’s first offense for DWI and the breath reading is 0.14% or below. But if the BAC reading is 0.15% or higher then the interlock becomes a mandatory penalty even for a first offense. It is important to note that a conviction for Refusal to submit to a breath test (even a first offense) requires a mandatory interlock device be installed in your vehicle even though there is no reading. For first time offenders, the judge may use his or her discretion when determining the length of time you will be required to have the interlock device in your car following the suspension. This period can range from between 6 – 12 months for a first time offender. Subsequent DWI offenders are not so lucky because the ignition interlock device becomes a mandatory penalty that must be imposed at sentencing. Moreover, the required period of installation increases to 1 – 3 years following your suspension. The most common complaints from ignition interlock devices are that they are burdensome, expensive and just down right embarrassing. If you have been charged with a DUI in New Jersey it is important that you consult with an experienced attorney who can answer your questions regarding various penalties including the ignition interlock device.
NJ DWI Ignition Interlock Device Law
The Ignition Interlock Device was implemented as a tool to deter future drunk driving. The device actually works as a breathalyzer that is attached to your engine ignition system which is used to start and stop the car. In order to start your vehicle, you will be required to blow into the interlock device and may be required to randomly blow into the machine throughout your drive. If the device detects your BAC is 0.05% or higher then the car will not start. In the event that the driver’s BAC s is over 0.05% while the car is driving, the ignition interlock device will warn the driver to turn off the vehicle through horn honking, flashing lights, etc. which is intended to draw the attention of bystanders and police officers. Lastly, if you are caught tampering with the device or trying to circumvent the procedure by having a friend blow into the interlock device, it is a criminal offense punishable by jail time and an additional suspension. Each ignition interlock device must be professionally installed a select licensed service centers throughout New Jersey. Moreover, you will be required to bring your car back to the service center every few months so the interlock device can be serviced and monitored.
For more information and frequently asked question regarding the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, feel free to visit the NJ MVC Ignition Interlock Device page.
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