Interlock Ignition Devices/Defenses

Seasoned Traffic Violations Attorney for Individuals Near East Brunswick

Whether you are facing your first driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense or an additional citation, you may be required to install an interlock ignition device (IID) in order to retain your driving privileges and work towards regaining their full scope. Skilled traffic violations lawyer Leon Matchin helps residents of East Brunswick and nearby communities who have been charged with alcohol-related offenses. He has over a decade of experience guiding individuals throughout Monmouth, Middlesex, and Mercer Counties. Let him advise you on how to comply with requirements regarding IIDs following a DWI.

The Operation of Interlock Ignition Devices

In New Jersey, IIDs are used to test a driver’s breath and prevent a vehicle from starting if his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) is above .05 percent. Once the vehicle is moving, “rolling retests” may be required every 15 to 60 minutes, whereby the driver must blow into the machine to re-calculate his or her BAC. If a driver fails to perform these tests, the IID records a violation. These devices will also record any attempts to tamper with them, which results in additional legal penalties.

IID Requirements Under New Jersey Law

Drunk-driving convictions can have a lasting impact on an individual’s day-to-day life, including license suspension, vehicle impoundment, and an order to install an interlock ignition device. It is important to know that IIDs are mandatory for refusal to submit to breath testing device convictions. In January 2010, New Jersey enacted new laws regarding mandatory installation of these devices after a DWI conviction. These are the requirements they impose:

  • First DWI Offenses: IIDs are required if a driver is found to have had a BAC of .15 percent or higher. The device is installed during the seven months that a defendant’s license is suspended, and an additional six months to a year afterwards, depending on the court’s determination. If a breath test is under .15, the court, at its discretion, still may order installation of an IID.
  • Subsequent DWI Convictions: IIDs are mandatory for all later violations, regardless of BAC percentage. The device is installed for the duration of the defendant’s suspended license period and from one to three years afterwards.

For second DWI convictions, a court may order a two-year vehicle registration suspension instead of requiring installation of an IID. Additionally, in a situation where a person is convicted of his or her third DWI, a judge can order a 10-year registration suspension. If this happens, a driver would be prohibited from registering any vehicles in his or her name during the designated time period. Since New Jersey does not allow conditional or special work licenses during a suspension, motorists are strictly prohibited from operating any vehicles until their privileges are restored. The consequences of driving on a suspended license could lead to an additional one or two years of suspension.

If you have been ordered to install an IID, you will receive a notice from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission regarding the suspension of your license as well as instructions about approved IID manufacturers and how to acquire the device. Defendants are responsible for the costs of installation and maintenance of these devices, and they can face additional penalties for failing to comply with the court’s order.

Failure to install a required IID could result in an additional one-year suspension of a defendant’s driving privileges. The same penalty applies if a driver tampers with the operation of the device, or attempts to rent or operate a different vehicle without installing it. New Jersey law also requires that another person who attempts to thwart the IID’s purpose by blowing into the device for the driver may be compelled to install an IID in his or her own vehicle. Because of the strict consequences and requirements regarding these issues, it is important to consult a knowledgeable attorney who can make sure your case is handled properly and with the least amount of disruption possible.

Consult a Knowledgeable East Brunswick Lawyer When Facing DWI Charges

Having an experienced legal advocate on your side when you are prosecuted for a traffic violation is vital to making sure your rights are protected. Experienced DWI attorney Leon Matchin has helped many people near East Brunswick fight their charges by examining the evidence against them and determining if it was improperly collected or analyzed, such as a faulty breath test that was read or administered incorrectly. For legal assistance in your case, call Mr. Matchin today at  (732) 662-7658 for a free consultation, or contact us online.