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Is an ignition interlock device required after a New Jersey DWI?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Criminal Law |

Driving while intoxicated in New Jersey carries serious consequences, including the potential requirement for an ignition interlock device. After installation, a driver must provide a breath sample by blowing into the device. An IID prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has alcohol in his or her system.

Courts mandate these devices to reduce repeat offenses and enhance road safety. The motorist is responsible for financing the installation and ongoing maintenance of the IID.

First-time offenders

Courts mandate an IID installation for first-time DWI offenders in the state. Per Bankrate, first-time DWI offenders typically have to use the device for at least three months. However, if their BACs exceed 10%, they may have to use them for seven to 15 months. This measure aims to prevent further offenses and encourages responsible drinking behavior.

Repeat offenders

Second and subsequent DWI offenders face stricter regulations. Courts require these drivers to install an IID on any vehicle they own, lease or operate. The device remains in place for up to three years following license restoration. This extended period reflects the increased risks posed to public safety due to their repeated offenses.

Breath test refusers

Drivers who refuse to submit to a breath test during a DWI stop also face IID requirements. A refusal results in penalties similar to those for high BAC levels.

Understanding these requirements and complying with them is necessary for regaining driving privileges and ensuring safer roads. Ignition interlock devices serve as an effective tool in preventing drunk driving and reducing the risk of alcohol-related accidents.