Ignition Interlock Devices in DWI Cases in Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
Installation and Use of an Ignition Interlock Device for DUI in Toms River, Point Pleasant, Manalapan, Jackson, and Along the Jersey Shore
Being under the influence of alcohol compromises a person’s judgment. How do you stop someone from driving while under the influence if they lack an awareness of or appreciate the danger their actions may cause? One way is to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This is a requirement in the state of New Jersey for certain first-time and repeat offenders of drunk driving.
Ignition interlock devices are not only inconvenient to a person’s daily life, but they can also compromise employment opportunities. If you have been charged with a DUI offense in New Jersey, it is important that you are aware of the possibility of an ignition interlock device being required, when and for how long it will be installed, as well as the cost of the device and who will pay for it. Finally, seeking the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney may help you to beat the charges against you and avoid the installation of this device.
At Bronzino Law Firm, we defend clients charged with DWI and DUI offenses involving driving while impaired by drugs and alcohol throughout Bay Head, Asbury Park, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Brick, Seaside Heights, Ocean Grove, Mantoloking, Lavallette, and other communities in Monmouth and Ocean County. Contact us at (732) 812-3102 to discuss your charges in a free consultation and find out how we can help.
Main Purpose of an Ignition Interlock Device in New Jersey
Ignition interlock devices provide an important safeguard and act as a deterrent against driving under the influence of alcohol. An ignition interlock device is an electronic alcohol detection device that is installed to connect to a motor vehicle’s engine. Before the driver can start the vehicle, they must breathe into the device. If the driver’s breath alcohol content level (BrAC) is over the limit programmed in the device, then the device will prevent them from being able to start the vehicle, as it is connected to the engine.
To ensure that the driver does not drink while driving or try to circumvent the system by having someone else blow into the device before the intoxicated individual drives the vehicle, the system is also designed to require the driver to blow into the device at points throughout the journey. These are called “rolling retests.” If the driver blows into the device with a BrAC that is over the limit or fails to blow into the device for a retest, then the device will record it as a violation, which will be reported.
Offenders Required to Install an Ignition Interlock Device
In New Jersey, ignition interlock devices are not just for repeat offenders. As of December 2019, individuals convicted of a first-time DUI offense with a BAC under 0.15% will not have their license suspended; however, they will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed for a period of three months to one year. Even if you are a first-time offender but have a BAC of 0.15% or higher, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle while your license is revoked and for a period of 9 to 15 months after your license is reinstated.
If you are a repeat DUI offender, then the ignition interlock device will be required for anywhere from 2 to 4 years after your license is reinstated. If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test and it is your first time refusing, then you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed for 9 to 15 months, while license suspensions and longer periods of interlock installation are required for subsequent refusals.
Implications of Using an Ignition Interlock Device on Your Life
Ignition interlock devices play a crucial role in road safety, but they also create significant inconveniences and impediments to an individual’s daily routine and potential employment opportunities. Having an ignition interlock device means that you will need to dedicate additional time to your morning commute and any other car travel both to start the vehicle and to comply with any rolling tests that may be required along your journey. It is not safe to perform the test while driving, so the device will warn drivers that they should find a place to pull over and breathe into the device. One or multiple stops for rolling tests can collectively add significant time to travel.
Most individuals, though not all, are at-will employees at their jobs. This means that most employers can choose to terminate your employment for any lawful reason, including a DUI conviction. If your job requires you to operate a motor vehicle, your employer may terminate you following a DUI conviction. Even if they are willing to overlook your conviction, your employer is not likely to overlook your need for an ignition interlock device if driving is one of your job duties. Keeping you in a driving role could create liability for your employer.
In addition to these inconveniences and threats to employment, having to use an ignition interlock device can simply be embarrassing. You may find yourself parking farther away from others or entrances, just so your friends, acquaintances, or even strangers do not see you blowing into the device, which can be damaging to your reputation and embarrassing to your family as well.
Who Covers the Costs of an Ignition Interlock Device in NJ?
If you are convicted of a DUI and required to use an ignition interlock device, you will be responsible for all of the costs associated with installing the device, removal fee, and the rental fee depending on how many days and months it is required to be installed. This can create financial hardship for some, but the alternative is that you will not be able to drive at all and may not be able to get to work.
Contact Our Sea Girt DWI Defense Lawyers for Assistance with Your Case
Your main objective when charged with a DUI offense is to avoid a conviction. While being acquitted or having the charges against you dropped may seem too good to be true, it truly depends on the facts of your case. There may be procedural issues surrounding your traffic stop or the calibration of the breathalyzer used to assess your BrAC at the scene. If you were stopped in violation of your constitutional rights, then any evidence collected as a result of that stop, including your BAC results, may not be admissible in court.
Seeking the counsel of a skilled DUI defense attorney at Bronzino Law Firm is critical in determining what defenses may be available to you and how the prosecution’s case against you may be undermined. If you are facing DWI charges in Middletown, Wildwood, Spring Lake, Red Bank, Berkeley, Ocean Township, Holmdel, and throughout Monmouth County and Ocean County, New Jersey, contact our team of dedicated and seasoned DWI lawyers for a complimentary review of your case. Call (732) 812-3102 for immediate assistance, or complete our online form.