The Effectiveness of Ignition Interlock Devices

drunk drivingIf you have been arrested or charged with a New Jersey DWI, you should not delay in reaching out to a skilled New Jersey DWI attorney. At our firm, we have years of experience protecting the rights of those accused of DWIs, and we can put our knowledge to use in your case. The penalties for a DWI conviction vary, but in some cases, individuals are required to use an ignition interlock device (IID).

In New Jersey, the offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) consists of getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. It is important to note that the legal limit is different for individuals who are underage and for commercial drivers.

An IID is similar to a Breathalyzer and measures a person’s BAC. The IID is a handheld device that is connected to the ignition system of a car. For a person to start the car, the driver must blow into the device. If the device detects the BAC to be over a certain programmed amount, the vehicle will not start. These systems typically do not just require a test to start the engine, but also generally require a test every few minutes while driving. The idea behind these “rolling” tests is to preclude a friend or acquaintance from starting the vehicle and then letting a drunk driver behind the wheel.

A Mothers Against Drunk Driving report found that ignition interlock devices stopped 350,000 attempts to drive drunk in 2016 across the nation. In New Jersey alone, ignition interlock devices stopped 15,000 attempts to drive drunk. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the expanded use of ignition interlock devices, based mainly on its evaluation of the advantage to public safety. A bill that is presently pending in the New Jersey Legislature would mandate the installation of an ignition interlock device for all DWI convictions.

Currently, New Jersey law does not mandate IID installation for a first-time DWI offense if the defendant’s BAC was under 0.15 percent. In fact, it is up to the judge whether or not to order IID installation in these cases throughout the time frame in which the driver’s license is suspended, and for six to 12 months after the reinstatement of the license. If a person’s BAC is 0.15 or higher, IID installation becomes compulsory. For subsequent DWI offenses, IID installation is mandatory, irrespective of the BAC.

If you or someone close to you has been charged with a DWI, it is vital to reach out to a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney who can assess the merits of your case. In some cases, an order to install an IID is mandatory, but in cases in which it is up to the judge’s discretion, we may be able to help. At our firm, we have successfully helped many New Jersey residents fight their DWI charges and can help you as well. For more information, do not hesitate to call us at 877-450-8301 or reach out to us online.

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