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Ignition Interlock Devices in New Jersey | What to Know

In New Jersey, driving while intoxicated is a serious offense. If convicted of a DWI, you may face a number of heavy consequences, including the installation of an ignition interlock device. Read on to learn more about these devices and how they work.

How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?

If a person is convicted of a DWI in New Jersey, the court may require an ignition interlock device to be installed in the driver’s vehicle. An ignition interlock device (IID) is a device that requires the individual to blow a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) less than 0.05% for the vehicle to start. The vehicle will not turn on if the driver’s BAC is above this limit. It is important to know that the device prohibits other people from blowing into the device on behalf of the intoxicated person, as additional breaths must be given while the vehicle is in motion. If these additional breaths are not provided, the vehicle will make a record of it, issue a warning, and set off an alarm until the vehicle is pulled over. 

Under What Circumstances Will the Device be Installed?

If a driver is convicted of a DWI for the first time with a BAC over .15%, he or she may be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in his vehicle. This is also the case if the driver refused to take a breathalyzer test once pulled over. Once the individual is convicted, he or she is required to have the device installed after his license is reinstated for a period of six months to one year. If his or her BAC is under 0.15%, it is up to the discretion of the court whether the device should be installed for the same period of time. Drivers who receive a second DWI conviction may be required to have the device installed while their license is suspended in addition to a period of one to three years after its reinstatement. This is the same in the event of a third DWI charge or the refusal to submit a breathalyzer test. If the driver does not have the device installed when they are ordered to do so, the judge can mandate an additional year of license suspension. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding ignition interlock devices in New Jersey, contact our firm today.


Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.

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