As of December 1, 2019, most first-time DWI offenders in New Jersey will not have their driver’s licenses suspended. However, anyone who is convicted of drunk or drugged driving must install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle(s).
According to updated DWI laws, if a first offender is convicted of a DWI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of below .15 percent, license suspension will not be part of the penalties. After getting convicted, these drivers must keep an IID in their cars for between three months to a year.
Immediately following the conviction, first offenders can visit the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) and start the process of restoring their driver’s license. The MVC also has a list of authorized IID vendors and service centers with certifications to install them. The vendor leases the device to the driver for a monthly rate of $75 and an installation fee, between $150 and $400, depending on the type of vehicle.
IIDs require drivers to blow into the device each time in order to start the engine. The car will not start if the driver’s BAC is at least .05 percent.
On the other hand, convicted first offenders with a BAC of over .15 percent will have their licenses suspended between four and six months and must install an IID for an additional nine to 15 months. A second or subsequent conviction, the IID requirement lasts between two and four years after the end of the license suspension period.
Under the previous law, first offenders with a BAC between .08 and .10 percent could be sentenced to driver’s license suspension for three months, including fines, surcharges, and required to attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). First offenders with a BAC of over .10 percent can be subject to license revocation between seven months and one year, along with the other penalties mentioned earlier.