Is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Required for a New Jersey DUI?

Motorists who receive DUI convictions in New Jersey face numerous possible penalties, including fines, license suspensions, and even possible jail time. Since 2019, New Jersey law has also required drivers convicted of DUI to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles. The amount of time the individual must have the IID depends on their alleged blood alcohol content (BAC) level at the time of arrest and their DUI history.

Motorists who receive DUI convictions in New Jersey face numerous possible penalties, including fines, license suspensions, and even possible jail time. Since 2019, New Jersey law has also required drivers convicted of DUI to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles. The amount of time the individual must have the IID depends on their alleged blood alcohol content (BAC) level at the time of arrest and their DUI history.

Are you facing DUI charges that could result in an IID installation? Instead of going through this challenging time alone, turn to experienced DUI attorney Steven Ellman for help. He can explain the specifics of this potential consequence and plan a robust defense to reduce your chances of an IID mandate. The Law Office of Steven Ellman is ready to assess your case and develop an effective strategy accordingly.

Contact Steven Ellman today for a free consultation to learn how a skilled DUI defense attorney can optimize your defense.

Understanding Ignition Interlock Devices

An ignition interlock device, or IID, is a breathalyzer that connects to your vehicle’s ignition system. Before you can start a vehicle with an IID, you must blow into the device, which measures your BAC via your breath. The device prevents the car from starting if your BAC exceeds the programmed limit (usually around 0.05 percent).

IIDs also require you to blow into the device occasionally while you drive. If your BAC exceeds the limit during operation, the device logs the incident, displays a warning, and sometimes triggers flashing lights or honking, requiring you to shut off the engine. 

IIDs aim to prevent drunk driving by verifying drivers’ sobriety. They keep drivers accountable and help change driver behavior by preventing impaired driving. Simultaneously, they allow convicted individuals to continue driving so they can get to work and support their families.

New Jersey DUI Laws and IID Requirements

All New Jersey drivers convicted of DUI charges, whether for the first time or as a repeat conviction, must install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. However, the duration of the required IID installation varies depending on the severity of the offense. 

First-time offenders must install the devices before they can have their driving privileges restored. They must show proof of installation to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and obtain a new license featuring the word “Interlock.” This endorsement prevents the driver from operating vehicles without an IID installed. 

  • For first-time offenses of BAC levels between 0.08 and 0.10 percent, the IID must remain installed in the vehicle for the three months following the end of the driver’s license suspension. 
  • For first-time offenses between 0.10 and 0.15 percent, the IID must remain installed for seven to 12 months after the end of the license suspension. 
  • For first-time offenses above 0.15 percent, the individual must show proof of installation before their four- to six-month license suspension begins. The IID must remain installed for between nine and 15 months after the suspension ends.
  • For second- and third-time offenses, the IID must remain installed for between two and four years after the end of the license suspension.

Navigating Legal Proceedings with an IID Requirement

Receiving a sentence that includes an IID installation requirement can add confusing layers to the already complicated process of dealing with a DUI conviction. DUI defense attorney Steven Ellman can simplify this process and work to reduce the burden on you as you move forward.

If a conviction triggers an IID mandate, you must arrange the installation of a state-approved device in any vehicles you will operate. This includes providing documentation to the Motor Vehicle Commission as proof of installation before you regain your driving privileges.

Steven Ellman can assist you in properly completing requirements like: 

  • Finding qualified IID vendors and installers
  • Submitting forms to activate the device
  • Demonstrating functional installation 
  • Obtaining an Interlock Restricted License

You must personally pay installation and recurring monthly service fees to the private interlock vendor during the court-ordered term. These fees often create financial and logistical hurdles, especially for many first-time offenders. Steven Ellman can advise you on effectively budgeting for and managing these additional costs.

During the period an IID is installed, further penalties can result if you fail breath tests by registering a BAC level over 0.05 percent. You could also face additional charges if you attempt to circumvent the mandate by having another person blow into the device. However, faulty devices sometimes yield false positives, which Steven can help you dispute and disprove as necessary.

Finally, as you near the end of your mandatory term, Steven Ellman can advise you on the process of properly removing the device and restoring your standard license. He can also notify you if any paths exist to clear the DUI from your record or remove interlock restrictions after your suspension term.

How an Experienced DUI Attorney Can Help

Experienced DUI attorneys like Steven Ellman can prevent you from having to deal with interlock requirements in the first place by getting charges dismissed or arguing for reduced penalties. For instance, in some cases, Steven Ellman can present arguments for leniency during sentencing. Where IID requirements cannot reasonably be avoided, he can still take steps to minimize their duration and get you back on the road sooner.

A skilled DUI attorney can demystify the protocols that accompany IID requirements, advocate for you in DMV hearings, arrange financing if necessary, and provide ongoing support throughout the process. They can also develop strategies to expedite license restoration after suspension terms end. Knowledgeable legal advocacy makes all the difference in navigating interlock requirements after a DUI conviction in New Jersey.

Contact Us Now to Speak with a NJ DUI Lawyer

If you are facing the prospect of an IID in a DUI case, you probably have many questions, concerns, and worries. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, but you do not need to take the next steps alone. Seasoned New Jersey DUI attorney Steven Ellman can help you understand your options and protect your rights. 

Steven Ellman has decades of experience handling DUI cases. His track record demonstrates that we have the knowledge, skills, and resources to achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Contact The Law Office of Steven Ellman today for a free consultation to learn more.