Use of Ignition Interlock Devices in New Jersey
Ricci’s Law, passed by the New Jersey legislature on January 14, toughens the standards for mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices (IID) in vehicles of those convicted of drunk driving to detect their blood alcohol levels when they hit the road. According to NJ DUI Laws, a DUI offender is required to install an IID in his or her vehicle if their blood alcohol content (BAC) was over 0.15% in the case of a first time offense, in case of a repeat offense with BAC over 0.08%, and by anyone who refused to submit to a BAC test.
What is an IID (Ignition Interlock Device)?
An ignition interlock device attaches to the dashboard, in front of the passenger seat, and is about the size of a cell phone. The device is wired to the vehicles ignition to prevent the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected on the drivers breath. The convicted driver must blow into the device to provide a breath sample before the engine starts. The device requires the driver to submit breath samples periodically when the ignition is running to ensure the continued absence of alcohol in the drivers system.
Use of IID in the state of New Jersey
In the state of New Jersey, an ignition interlock device is required to be installed in every motor vehicle owned, operated or leased by the DUI offender till the time of expiration of the period of court ordered license suspension. When the court sentences someone to get an ignition interlock device, the person receives a notice of suspension from MVC (Motor Vehicle Commission) with instructions on how to obtain the device.
An IID must be functional in the offenders vehicle both during a license suspension and after the license is restored, the duration of which is a minimum of 6 months to a year in case of a first DWI conviction and a minimum of one year up to three years for second or subsequent DWI convictions. In the case if the convicted person wants the device removed from their vehicle, then they are required to surrender their driving license.
The NJ DWI law prohibits the DWI offender from operating any vehicle which is not equipped with an IID. In the case the offender fails to comply with the rules, he or she may have their driver’s license suspended for one year along with facing other penalties applicable by law.
New Jersey DWI law considers a person disorderly if the offender tampers the operation of an interlock device or if the offender knowingly rents or operates a motor vehicle which does not have an IID installed in it. In such a case, the offender will have to face an additional year of suspension of their driving privileges. NJ DUI law also requires any disorderly person other than a driver who attempts to get around the IID by blowing into it for the driver to have an IID installed in their vehicle.