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Ignition Interlock Device Requirements in NJ

New Jersey DWI Defense Lawyers in Hackettstown, NJ

Interlock Devices in NJ DWI Cases

Interlock Devices in NJ DWI Cases

Some convictions for driving while intoxicated or refusing to provide a breath sample in Sussex or Warren County will result in the requirement to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. Pursuant to R.S. 39:5-50.16, the New Jersey Legislature declared that New Jersey’s penalties for drunk driving, including the mandatory suspension of driver’s licenses and counseling for offenders, are among the strongest in the nation. However, despite the severity of existing penalties, far too many persons who have been convicted under the drunk driving law continue to imperil the lives of their fellow citizens by driving while intoxicated. Accordingly, the legislature also imposes interlock requirements for those convicted of some first offenses, depending on BAC, and all subsequent drunk driving offenses. An ignition interlock is basically a breathalyzer that will not let a car start if too much alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath. The bottom line is that there are installation fees and maintenance fees for an ignition interlock, on top of the fines and DMV surcharges, and if you are accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or refusing to provide breath samples anywhere in Sussex or Warren County NJ including Hackettstown, Allamuchy, Sparta, or Vernon, you should contact the DWI/DUI defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm.

Ignition Interlock Requirements after DWI Convictions in NJ

According to R.S. 39:4-50.17 in sentencing a first offender for drunk driving, the court may order, in addition to any other penalty imposed by that section, the installation of an ignition interlock device in the motor vehicle principally operated by the offender following the expiration of the period of license suspension imposed under that section. But if a first offender’s BAC is over 0.15%, the court must order an interlock during and following the expiration of the period of license suspension imposed under that section. In addition to installation during the period of license suspension, the device shall remain installed for not less than six months or more than one year, commencing immediately upon the return of the offender’s driver’s license after the required period of suspension has been served. For second or subsequent offenders, the court shall order the installation of an ignition interlock device in the motor vehicle principally operated by the offender during and following the expiration of the period of license suspension for not less than one year or more than three years, commencing immediately upon the return of the offender’s driver’s license.

If a person is convicted of refusing to provide a breath sample, the court shall order, in addition to any other penalty imposed by that section, the installation of an ignition interlock device in the motor vehicle principally operated by the offender during and following the expiration of the period of license suspension for not less than six months or more than one year, commencing immediately upon the return of the offender’s driver’s license after the required period of suspension has been served.

Regardless of the reason for the ignition interlock, New Jersey’s drunk driving laws set forth that an offender shall drive no vehicle other than one in which an interlock device has been installed pursuant to the order. So in addition to the expense associated with the interlock, a driver who is required to be using the interlock cannot borrow a the car of a friend or family member. All things considered, an interlock device is expensive and inconvenient. If you are accused of driving while intoxicated or refusing to provide breath samples, you should contact the Sussex and Warren County DWI/DUI defense team at the Tormey Law Firm.

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Our attorneys serve clients in Allamuchy, Andover, Belvidere, Frankford Township, Greenwich, Franklin Borough, Hackettstown, Hopatcong, Lopatcong Township, Newton, Mansfield Township, Sparta, North Warren, Vernon, Phillipsburg, Wantage, Pohatcong Township, Stillwater, Washington Borough, and throughout Sussex County and Warren County, New Jersey.

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