When Is an Ignition Interlock Device Required in New Jersey

When drivers in New Jersey are pulled over, they are often concerned about whether they will receive a citation. If the driver has been consuming alcohol, the driver is often worried about whether they will be accused of drunk driving. If a police officer suspects that a driver has been drinking alcohol and could have a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, they will be asked to complete a sobriety test or breathalyzer. Depending on the results, it could result in a DUI and the driver could endure serious penalties if convicted.

When is an ignition interlock device required in New Jersey? The requirements, mandatory installation of and length of installation of interlock devices are dependent on three things: the number of DUIs on the driver’s record, the judge’s discretion and the blood alcohol content of the driver. But, the major determining factor for these devices is the number of DUIs the driver has been convicted of.

For the first DUI offense, it is often up to the judge’s discretion to require an interlock device in the vehicle of the offender if their license was suspended for a DUI offense. A judge could require that the interlock be installed for six months up to one year after their driver’s licenses has been restored. If the driver has a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or greater, there is a mandatory requirement of the device during license suspension and for 6 months to a year following license restoration.

If it is the driver’s second DUI offense, there is a mandatory installation of an interlock device during the driver’s license suspension and for a year to 3 years following restoration. A third DUI offense requires a mandatory installation of the device during license suspension and for 1 year to 3 years following the restoration of their license.

Being able to drive and use a vehicle is important to most individuals in New Jersey. A license suspension and the installation of an interlock device is a costly consequence of a DUI. This is why it is important that drivers accused of a DUI should understand their defense options. This could help them reduce or dismiss the charges against them, resulting in lesser or no criminal penalties.

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