Ignition interlock devices required following DWI in New Jersey

by | Mar 11, 2021 | Criminal Defense

One of the consequences of a drunk driving conviction in New Jersey is the use of an ignition interlock device. The following is a brief overview of ignition interlock device use in the Garden State.

What is an ignition interlock device?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an ignition interlock device is a breath test device, similar to a Breathalyzer, that is hooked up to the car’s ignition. The driver will blow into the device. If the device registers even a low blood alcohol concentration, generally below 0.02, the vehicle will not start.

What are New Jersey’s laws on the use of ignition interlock devices?

Beginning in December 2019, the use of an ignition interlock device was required if convicted of DWI, even if it was a person’s first offense. It is hoped that technological enforcement will allow people to still drive for work or other reasons, but not if they have consumed alcohol, making roads in the Garden State safer for all drivers. License suspensions, on the other hand are seen as less effective for preventing drunk driving while still allowing motorists to take care of themselves and their families, as license suspensions do not always stop intoxicated motorists from driving where they want to go.

Are ignition interlock devices really fair?

While an ignition interlock device may help avoid subsequent DWIs, it may not seem fair that even having a single drink could prevent your vehicle from starting, even if your BAC is below the legal limit. For this reason, it is important that those facing drunk driving charges develop a strong legal strategy. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s website on DUI may be a good resource for those who want to learn more about their rights and options.