Articles Posted in Ignition Interlock & IDRC

Mississippi has added its name to the list of states now requiring ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for all DWI offenders, even first-time convicted drunken drivers. New Jersey is waiting in the wings right now, as legislators in Trenton hash things out regarding the state’s mandatory IID law. While the debate regarding IIDs has come from both sides of the aisle, some still feel that the Garden State’s approach to drunk drivers may be a little too accommodating.

When it comes to potential changes in New Jersey’s DWI laws, the proposed change to a “brief” 10-day license suspension, plus immediate and mandatory installation of an IID post-conviction has been regarded as a better solution to the current situation, which requires several months’ worth of suspension time that many argue has the potential to cause serious career, family and financial repercussions while not fully addressing the very real issue of convicted DWI offenders taking to the street sans driver’s license.

As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, my firm has seen more than enough instances of otherwise law-abiding motorists being stripped of their driving privileges as punishment for even a first-time indiscretion. We fully understand the risks and physical dangers of driving while impaired, but more and more people are beginning to accept the potential changes in our drunk driving laws to include mandatory IIDs in lieu of the rather strict punitive measures currently required by the New Jersey legal statutes.
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Although many people who find themselves arrested and charged with a drunken driving offense may generally be lumped into the first-and-old-time category, there is a portion of the driving public, albeit a smaller group, who end up with second- and third-time offenses to deal with. When it comes to DWI and drug DUI arrests, those with multiple convictions definitely have a harder time of it in terms of sentencing and penalties.

Sad to say, but those motorists who find themselves the recipients of frequent drunken driving summonses can often end up with onerous monetary penalties and significant jail time if convicted of a third or subsequent DWI charge. Most drivers, as well as the public at large, find it surprising that those with a couple DWIs under their belt may actually tempt fate and drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs or an illegal substance (CDS); however, regardless of why a person ends up arrested for DWI-DUI after already being convicted in the past of similar charges, the bottom line is that a competent drunk driving defense is all the more important for such individuals.

As Garden State DWI-DUI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I make it our business to defend those people who feel they were unjustly accused, or that the potential penalties following another conviction would be too much to bear. Whether my legal staff handles a first-time DWI case or one involving a second- or third-time charge, we know the importance of thorough preparation when fighting for our clients. In fact, it is safe to say that most individuals facing potentially heavy fines and other penalties feel they need a lawyer skilled in drunk driving defense to avoid serious consequences.
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Poised to testify in Trenton before the State Legislature’s Assembly Appropriations Committee, representatives from the anti-drunken driving group, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, will state the case for pending legislation that could make ignition interlock devices (IIDs) mandatory for all convicted drivers regardless of prior convictions. The presentation by MADD is scheduled for tomorrow and is expected to echo those who have been pushing for changes to current state law to include the mandatory use of IIDs.

The proposed legislation, A 1368, which was introduced by Assemblywoman Linda Stender, would require ignition interlocks for every convicted drunk drivers, even first-offenders. While IIDs can be inconvenient and potentially embarrassing when installed on an individual’s vehicle, the legislation reportedly also includes changes to the license suspension requirements for those convicted of DWI.

As Garden State drunk driving defense attorneys, my colleagues and I know very well the serious burden that New Jersey’s current DWI-DUI statutes places on those individuals convicted of drunken drivers by requiring mandatory suspension of driving privileges for three months or more, depending on the number of prior convictions. Many argue that having a mandatory IID installation for every convicted offender is a small price to pay for NOT losing one’s driver’s license.
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Arguments for and against mandatory ignition interlock devices, or IIDs as they are sometimes called, have been going on for years. Whether these devices, or the threat of having them installed on one’s car or truck, can be beneficial to public safety; or even if they provide sufficient deterrent against repeat DWIs is certainly a subject that has fueled hot debate in the area of drunk driving law. As New Jersey DWI and drug DUI defense lawyers, we can understand both sides of the argument.

But even as the question of effectiveness lingers regarding the use of court-ordered ignition interlock devices, a future where the law requires every motorist convicted of DWI in the Garden State to have an IID installed has made for lively discussion. In fact, just like New Jersey, many states have already adopted IIDs as a way to combat recidivist DWIs. The approach to making them mandatory for first-time offenders has also taken hold.

For anyone still unaware of what the use of these devices is supposed to accomplish, the goal is to stop newly convicted drunk drivers from taking the road in an intoxicated state by making sure that a person who has consumed alcohol recently cannot start his or her car. To do this, and IID features a handheld breath-alcohol tester tied to an electronic control unit that either allows the vehicle to be started or prevents ignition based on a predetermined blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold.
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Three individuals were recently taken into custody around Ocean County on charges of drunken driving, though the circumstances were rather different for each of the motorists accused of DWI. As Garden State trials attorneys and professional drunk driving defense lawyers, the legal team at the law offices of Jonathan F. Marshall knows that DWI and drug DUI arrests can take place at any time of the day. As longtime advocates for motorists accused of driving while intoxicated, we also are well aware of the odd situations in which some people find themselves, which result in such encounters with the law.

Take the recent arrest of a 42-year-old Barnegat resident when he was observed by patrolmen asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle as it was idling in a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant drive-through. According to the news story we ran into, Stafford Twp. police were called to the scene of a possibly inebriated individual around 2pm on a Friday morning. Based on the police report, the driver had only moments earlier placed an order for some food with the staff at McDonalds when he apparently fell asleep while in line for his order.

The restaurant staff was unable to awaken the man, who apparently passed out in his car. Officers arriving on the scene reportedly roused the motorist and then charged him with driving under the influence of alcohol. He was also found to have had a number of outstanding warrants totaling more than $2,500. He was booked and eventually remanded to the Ocean County Jail in lieu of bail.
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The old saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” could be applicable to almost any aspect of life. Whether you are looking for an experienced building contractor, a reliable snow removal company, or a skilled legal expert, it’s always best to do one’s homework in order to get the best and most qualified professional on your side. But, while many things in life can be put off, finding a good attorney is not necessarily one of them.

For anyone who has even been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence of prescription medications (drug DUI), it is a fact that when staring at potential penalties in the hundreds to thousands of dollars, getting to know a good drunk driving defense lawyer can quickly become a top priority. Here in the Garden State, being convicted of DWI or DUI, not to mention breath test refusal, underage drunken driving, or marijuana possession in a motor vehicle can be a serious event in one’s life; and, one that will not soon be forgotten.

The often serious penalties awaiting those who are found guilty of drunk driving can include not only monetary fines and assessments, but also a likely driver’s license suspension, imposition of an ignition interlock device on one’s vehicle, not to mention the possibility of jail time. As anyone can imagine, being charged with an alcohol- or drug-related traffic offense can have serious ramifications for the motorist and his family.
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It’s safe to say that most people who have more than a few decades under their belts may have seen and experienced quite a bit in their life so far. That said, it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that being arrested by a police officer for anything would be a relatively scary proposition for almost anyone, not the least an average law-abiding citizen. The last thing that anybody wants is to be branded as is a scofflaw, or worse, a criminal.

But being arrested for a DWI or drug DUI is exactly what thousands of Garden State residents experience every year in this state. Having been stopped for a traffic violation can rattle most any motorist, but to find oneself being placed in the back of a patrol car and taken to police headquarters for a breathalyzer test and possible drunken driving charges, well that can be a downright frightening experience.

Not only can a DWI-DUI arrest be unnerving, but having been charged and then facing the serious consequences of a drunk driving conviction the potentially expensive penalties that go along with a guilty verdict can weigh on a person. As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I truly understand what the average person is facing when that squad car door slams shut and the ride to police headquarters begins. Maybe you won’t be charged with driving while intoxicated, but many people are and those odds aren’t comforting.
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Those arrested for drunken driving here in the Garden State don’t have much to look forward to should a conviction for DWI be the end result. In addition to the hundreds and even thousands of dollars in monetary penalties, such as assessments, fines, insurance premium increases and court fees, the law also requires convicted drunk driving offenders to have an ignition interlock device placed on his or her vehicle for a period specified by the court.

As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, I and my colleagues have the skills and experience necessary to represent individuals accused of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, prescription drugs, or a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). While many people may not think that they have a chance to avoid a DWI or drug DUI conviction, the fact remains that if you don’t try, you won’t ever know what is or isn’t possible.

When it comes to being found guilty of a drunk driving offense, many of those people who are convicted receive not only harsh monetary penalties but also possible jail time or other punitive measures. One of the increasingly common penalties that individuals find themselves being ordered to follow by the court is the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.
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Drunk driving defense attorneys such as myself and my colleagues can only help people just so much. When a driver makes a mistake or error in judgment and gets behind the wheel of his or her automobile while possibly intoxicated, a qualified DWI defense lawyer can be of great assistance in fighting a potential DWI or drug DUI charge. But after the case is closed, whatever the outcome, the choice to repeat the original episode is solely up to the driver himself.

As professional litigators experienced in representing motorists accused of operating a vehicle while under the influence of beer, wine, hard liquor or prescription drugs, we can only advise our clients to exercise discretion and not to end up in a similar situation in the future. Unfortunately, human nature is a tough thing to overcome with some individuals and many previously-convicted drunk drivers — or even those acquitted of driving while intoxicated — can end up on the hook again for being allegedly drunk behind the wheel in the future.

Here in the Garden State, multiple convictions for DWI-DUI have consequences much more serious than those for a first-time offender. While it’s no secret that harsh consequences await those convicted of a second- or third-time drunken driver, it also should not be a surprise that retaining a lawyer in such cases is usually the best course of action. Although no one can guarantee the outcome of any legal case, there are some compelling reasons to mount a strong defense for “first-timers.”
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For those who follow New Jersey drunken driving law, there was an interesting article earlier this year reporting the state’s Bar Associate desire to effect a change in the statement used when advising motorists of the penalty for refusing a breath test associate with a drunken driving arrest. Based on the news reports we ran across, this apparently grew out of the drunken driving case of Assemblyman Paul Moriarty last year.

As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, we know full well how many motorists are caught up in drunk driving arrests each year. Many of these people may not have known that they were legally drink at the time of the arrest, while others believe wholeheartedly that the charges against them are without grounds. Whatever the situation, our job as qualified drunken driving defense lawyers is to represent these individuals in a court of law and help them fight the accusations leveled against them.

For some drivers, being accused of driving while intoxicated can mean they will be asked to take a breathalyzer test to measure their blood-alcohol concentration — the legal limit for which is 0.08 percent here in the Garden State. Some people do not want to have their breath analyzed and so they have the choice to refuse to have a sample taken. But this is not such a simple issue as it may seem.
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