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

| Jul 19, 2021 | DUI

A conviction for driving while intoxicated in New Jersey means serious penalties, including fines, the suspension of your driver’s license and possible jail time, among others. As of 2019, it also means you have to install something called an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a predetermined amount of time.

Per NJ.com, you now have to install an ignition interlock on your vehicle and any others you drive after any drunk driving offense.  This holds true even if you are a first-time offender.

How the device works

An ignition interlock device is something you have installed on your vehicle that you must blow into each time you want to start your car. If you have any trace of alcohol on your breath when doing so, the car is not going to start. The device may also require you to submit periodic breath samples after the car starts. There are costs associated with installing and maintaining the device, and these costs become your responsibility after a DWI.

How long you might have to have the device

How long you have to use the ignition interlock device after a DWI conviction depends on several circumstances. If your blood alcohol level falls somewhere between 0.08% and 0.10%, you must install and use the device for three months. If it is between 0.10% and 0.15%, you must do so for somewhere between seven and 12 months. If your blood alcohol reading exceeded 0.15%, you must have the device on your car for between nine and 15 months.

Failing to use the ignition interlock device as directed may lead to additional charges and sanctions.

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