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26 May 2015

NJ DWI: Ignition Interlock Device 101

A common method used to deter individuals from Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in the State of New Jersey (and throughout the country) is the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on the dashboard of the driver’s vehicle.

car ignition

In fact, certain states require mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices for all individuals who have been convicted of a DWI or DUI charge.

While this is not the case in New Jersey, it is still possible to have an IID installed on your vehicle after your first DWI offense.

In this article we will discuss the basics of Ignition Interlock Devices including what they are, how they work and the laws surrounding ignition interlock devices in the State of New Jersey.

What Is An Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An ignition interlock device (IID), also known as a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), is a machine that is intended to prevent intoxicated driving by preventing a vehicle from starting if an individual has had too much to drink.

These devices are often used as a sanction for DUI / DWI charges in many States throughout the US.

How Does An Ignition Interlock Device Work?

Technically, an ignition interlock device breaks the connection between a vehicle’s ignition and its engine, until a valid breath test is provided. A valid breath test is one which returns a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) below the set limit (usually the State’s legal limit).

In the event that the device registers a breath sample which is higher than the set limit, the engine will not start.

However, if the breath sample is within the set limit, the engine will start normally.

In addition to the initial breath test required to start a vehicle with an IID, a driver must perform “random re-tests” to continue driving the vehicle. The time between re-tests will depend on the settings, however it is usually between 15 minutes to one hour.

Ignition interlock devices log all breath tests and keep an internal record which can be printed out upon calibration of the device (usually every 30 or 60 days).

Ignition Interlock Devices In New Jersey

In some states, the installation of an ignition interlock device is mandatory by law for first time conviction of DUI or DWI charges.

While ignition interlock devices are not mandatory for all first-time DWI offenses in New Jersey, they are mandatory for all additional offenses.

First DWI Offense

Installation of an ignition interlock device is not mandatory for a first offense DWI in the State of New Jersey if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was below 0.15% at the time of arrest.

However, installation of ignition interlock devices are required for any DWI charge in New Jersey in which the driver’s BAC was above 0.15% at the time of arrest.

That said, it is at the judge’s discretion to mandate the installation of the ignition interlock device for a first offense with a BAC under 0.15%.

Additional Charges Require Mandatory IID

Installation of an ignition interlock device is mandatory for second and third DWI convictions in New Jersey. Typically the ignition interlock device is required during the entire license suspension, as well 1 to 3 years after the license suspension.

Contact A New Jersey DWI Lawyer

Do you have questions about ignition interlock devices, or any other New Jersey DWI questions? Contact the experienced attorneys at Levow DWI Law today. We are here to answer your questions.

Call our Cherry Hill, NJ offices at (856) 428-5055 to speak with a friendly DWI lawyer today.