Ignition Interlock Devices and NJ DWI Penalties
In New Jersey, the penalties for a DWI can be harsh. If convicted of a DWI, you are required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and pay significant fines, even as a first offender. Contact former prosecutor Meghan J. McCormick Hoerner to learn more about how she can help you if you are dealing with DWI charges.
What are Ignition Interlock Devices?
Ignition interlock devices (IDDs) are a requirement of New Jersey’s DWI laws and must be installed in your vehicle if you are convicted of drunk driving. NJ interlock devices ensure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.05% or less before you are able to start your vehicle. If the device detects a BAC greater than 0.05%, it prevents you from starting the engine. The devices are also designed to prevent a third party from starting your vehicle by blowing into the collection tube.
What are “Rolling Retests?”
IDDs require “rolling retests” at random intervals, usually every fifteen minutes to an hour, where you must blow into the device. Rolling retests allow you time to safely pull your vehicle over, perform the test, and continue on your way. If you fail a test, the engine does not stop. However, the device will log the positive test result, and your car will honk the horn and flash its lights until you pull over, stop the engine, and provide a clean sample. The positive test result is sent to your monitoring authority, who may be your parole or probation officer or the court. If a breath sample isn't provided, the device will log the event and warn you and your monitoring authority about the violation.
What are the DWI Penalties for First Offenders?
If it is your first DWI offense and you have a BAC of .08% but less than .10%, you can be fined upwards of $700 and be required to install an interlock device in your vehicle for three months. If it is your first offense, but you have a BAC of .10% but less than .15%, your fines can increase by $100, and you can be required to utilize an IDD for seven months. If you are a first offender DWI but have a BAC of .15% of higher, your fines can be upwards of $1,000, your driver’s license can be suspended for four to six months, and you are required to have an interlock device installed during your period of license forfeiture and for nine to fifteen months after your license is restored.
What are the DWI Penalties for Second and Subsequent Offenders?
If you are charged with a second DWI offense, you can be fined thousands of dollars, spend multiple nights in jail, and have a loss of your driver's license for one to two years. In addition, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device during your period of license forfeiture and for two to four years after your license is restored. If you are charged with a third or subsequent DWI offense, you can be charged thousands of dollars, spend up to six months in jail, and have a loss of drivers license for eight years. You will also be required to install an interlock device on your vehicle during your period of license forfeiture and for two to four years after your license is restored.
What are the DWI Penalties for Refusal Offenders?
If you are pulled over in suspicion of drunk driving and are charged with a refusal to submit to a breath alcohol test and convicted, you can as well be fined thousands of dollars and have a mandatory interlock device installment. First offenders can be required to use an IDD for nine to fifteen months. Second offenders can have a loss of driver's license for one to two years and be required to use an IDD for two to four years, and third and subsequent offenders can lose their license for eight years and be required to use an IDD for two to four years after that.
DWI charges are serious. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI, call Meghan J. Hoerner at (609)-938-0809 for aggressive and strong defense representation. Meghan is committed to getting you the best possible outcome for your case.
This website is not a source of legal advice. Every case and jurisdiction is different. Contact an attorney if you require legal advice.