Interlock Breath Device
New Jersey Ignition Interlock Device
Starting in January 2010, under Ricci’s Law, New Jersey made the installation of an ignition interlock device mandatory for all defendants convicted of a first drunk driving offense with a B.A.C. of 0.15% or higher or for a DWI conviction for a second, third or subsequent offense. The interlock device acts as a breathalyzer which is electronically attached to the vehicle’s engine and that an individual must blow into in order to start their car and continue driving the car. Moreover, it is important to note that if your BAC is more than 0.05% then the car will not start up. If a defendant fails to comply with the court order by not installing the device they will lose their driving privileges for an additional one (1) year. In addition, if a defendant is found guilty of driving a car without an interlock device, tampering with the device, or using another person’s breath sample then they will face a criminal record (disorderly persons offense), and face up to 6 months in jail and an additional one (1) year loss of license.
The attorneys that comprise the defense team of Marshall & Bonus have unique credentials to insure that you have every chance of escaping an ignition interlock and other penalties that come with a DWI conviction. Several lawyers at the firm are dual certified on the Alcotest and in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. You can also find an attorney on our staff, in fact, several of them who have served as DUI prosecutors in various NJ municipalities. To speak to a lawyer anytime 24/7 in a free consultation, contact one of our offices.
Ignition Interlock Device Requirements
•· First DWI offense: For a BAC of 0.15% or more the defendant will be required to install the interlock device in their vehicle for a period of six (6) to twelve (12) months to be set by the court once your driving privileges are restored. Although a BAC of less than 0.15% does not require a mandatory interlock the judge still has the discretion to impose the installation of the interlock device if they see fit depending on the circumstances.
•· Second DWI offense: For a second offense DUI the installation of an ignition interlock device is mandatory no matter the BAC. The only discretion the judge can exercise is in reference to the duration which is set at between one (1) to three (3) years following restoration.
•· Third DWI offense: A third or subsequent DWI offense requires a mandatory installation of the ignition interlock device for 1 to 3 years following restoration. Although the mandatory time period for the installation of the interlock device is the same as a second offense DWI, judges are normally inclined to impose a longer period given it is a subsequent offense.
The actual enforcement of the ignition interlock device law has created many problems and quagmires for the legislature and the defendants who are ordered to install the device. This is primarily due to the statute’s broad and ambiguous language which states that the interlock device must be installed in the motor vehicle owned, leased or principally operated by the defendant following the period of license revocation. Obvious problems arise when the defendant does not own a motor vehicle but it is still required to show to proof that they have complied with the installation to maintain their driving privileges. Another complicated situation occurs when an out-of-state driver is convicted of DWI in New Jersey and ordered to install the interlock device, although they do not have a New Jersey driver’s license and even if their home state does not require an interlock device. Technically they may still be required to comply with New Jersey’s court order to ultimately restore their driving privileges.
We serve clients throughout Mercer County, New Jersey — including Trenton, Hamilton, Princeton Borough, West Windsor, East Windsor, Lawrence Township, Robbinsville, Hightstown, Princeton Township, Ewing and Hopewell — and surrounding areas, including Hunterdon County and Burlington County.