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An Overview of New Jersey's Ignition Interlock Laws


Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence can carry a number of heavy consequences, even for first-time offenders. In addition to large fines, jail time, license restrictions, mandatory drug and alcohol classes, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle you drive.

An ignition interlock device is essentially a breathalyzer that functions as a second key to your vehicle. When you wish to drive you must blow into the breathalyzer, which will test for your intoxication levels. So long as your BAC level is below 0.05%, your car will start. If you fail, your car will not start, and the failed test will be recorded. You will also be required to re-test not long after starting your engine and driving away as an added security measure to make sure you didn’t have someone else blow the breathalyzer for you.

Will I Be Required to Install an Ignition Interlock Device?

New Jersey’s laws are extremely strict when it comes to driving under the influence. If you plead guilty or are convicted in court, you could very easily be forced to install one of these devices to keep even a limited driving privilege. For first-time offenders, whether or not you are required to install an ignition interlock device is entirely at the judge’s discretion (some people are required to get them, others are not).

If you are ordered to install one, you’ll be required to have it in your vehicle for at least six months and up to a year. However, if your BAC was higher than 0.15%, you will be required to have the device in your vehicle for the entire duration of your license suspension. Once your license is reinstated, regardless of your BAC level, you will be required to keep the device in your car between six months to a year after.

Repeat or subsequent offenders will be required to install an ignition interlock device for the entire duration of their license suspension, plus an additional one to three years from the point of their license reinstatement.

Restrictions When Under IID Orders

Those who are required to install an ignition interlock device will face several restrictions during their license suspension and in the time immediately after.

  • Offenders are only permitted to operate vehicles with ignition interlock devices during their sentence. This will be noted on the offender’s driver’s license once it is reinstated.
  • Nobody other than the offender is allowed to blow into the ignition interlock device.
  • The offender may not have the device removed from their vehicle unless they are given official written permission by the state of New Jersey
  • No mechanic may remove or tamper with an ignition interlock device without official written permission from the state of New Jersey
  • Offenders are not allowed to rent, borrow, or lease a vehicle without an ignition interlock device installed for the duration of their sentence.
  • Offenders will be required to have their device inspected regularly throughout their sentence. Devices will report any failed or skipped breath tests during these inspections.
  • An offender who drives a car without a device installed will face additional penalties, and the vehicle they are found to be driving without the device installed will be legally impounded.

If you are facing charges of driving under the influence in New Jersey, the DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Joseph R. Donahue, LLC can help! We offer knowledgeable counsel and experienced representation to help you navigate the complexities of your case with confidence. We know what’s at risk when you are charged with DUI, and we are motivated to help you obtain the best possible outcome through careful planning and strategy. If you have been arrested, call us! We’re available to help you get started with your case 24 hours a day!

Get a free consultation for your DUI case now! Contact the Law Offices of Joseph R. Donahue, LLC by dialing (201) 574-7919.
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