New Jersey Interlock Laws And Penalties
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the roads of New Jersey is an offense not taken lightly by the state authorities. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI or DWI in the State of New Jersey, knowing what you are up against is important. One roadblock along the way to restoring your license is the possibility of having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. An ignition interlock device is attached to your vehicle and it has a built-in breathalyzer, preventing you from driving if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is above 0.05 percent.
If you are an offender of New Jersey’s alcohol-related driving laws, you will be subject to various sentences regarding the ignition interlock device. A first time offender can expect the following:
- At the discretion of the judge presiding over your case, an ignition interlock device could be installed in your vehicle for a period of six months to one year.
- If your BAC was higher than 0.15 percent, it is required that an ignition interlock device be installed in your vehicle for the entire length of your license suspension.
- The ignition interlock device must remain in your vehicle for six months to one year after your license is reinstated.
A second and third time offender of New Jersey DUI laws can face the following penalties regarding an ignition interlock device:
- The installation of the lock is mandatory for the entire length of the license suspension plus one to three years from the point of license reinstatement.
If a judge orders you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, a written notice from the Motor Vehicle Commission will be mailed to you. This notice will inform you of your license suspension and instruct you as to where you can find companies that install these devices in vehicles throughout the State of New Jersey.
The law governing the installation of an ignition interlock device in the vehicles of DWI offenders in the State of New Jersey was passed just over one year ago (January 2010). The law was created with the goal of deterring offenders from becoming repeat offenders on the roads of New Jersey. If an ignition interlock device has been installed in your vehicle, make sure you understand and know the following laws:
- The DWI offender is required to operate only the vehicle in which the device was installed and no other vehicle during their interlock sentence. An imprint will be noted on the driver’s license once it is reinstated to identify that they can drive only a vehicle with an ignition interlock device
- No one other than the owner/driver of the vehicle with the interlock device can blow into the device so that the vehicle’s ignition is started
- The driver/owner of the vehicle with the device cannot have the device removed from the vehicle without official, written permission from the state of New Jersey
- No mechanic can remove an interlock device from a vehicle without official, written permission from the State of New Jersey
- No one is legally allowed to knowingly rent, lease, or lend a motor vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device to a person who is required to drive a vehicle with one installed
Any person required by the State of New Jersey to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle and does not, will have their driver’s license suspended for one year on top of the original license suspension. Any person who aides a DWI offender sentenced to the use of an ignition interlock device (blows into the device for the offender, knowingly lends them a vehicle without a device, allows them to knowingly drive their car without a device), will have their driver’s license suspended for one year on top of any other penalties incurred under the law.
Should a DWI offender sentenced to use a vehicle with an ignition interlock device operate a vehicle without one of these devices, the vehicle that was used by the offender legally has to be impounded by the arresting officer.