Proposed New Jersey DUI Law May Expand Ignition Interlock Requirements
Lawmakers in New Jersey are considering a proposal to change the consequences for driving under the influence of alcohol. Under the proposed law, many people convicted of DUI offenses would have to install an ignition interlock device rather than face lengthy license suspension periods. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill earlier this year and released it to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
An ignition interlock device connects to a vehicle’s ignition system and requires the driver to provide a breath sample before starting the vehicle. The device prevents the engine from starting if it detects alcohol in the driver’s breath. The device also requires drivers to provide additional breath samples at random intervals while the vehicle is running.
Current New Jersey DUI law requires the use of ignition interlock devices only for drivers convicted of multiple DWI offenses, or for first-time offenders convicted of driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or above. In New Jersey, as in all U.S. states, a driver can be convicted of DUI for driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
The proposal is based in part on research showing that many drivers whose licenses are suspended as a result of DUI conviction continue to drive during the license suspension period. According to the New Jersey Law Revision Committee, which conducted a 2012 study of New Jersey’s DUI laws and interlock statutes in other states, the devices are an effective method of keeping drivers off the road when they have been drinking.
What Are the Proposed Interlock Requirements for New Jersey DUI Violations?
Under the proposed New Jersey interlock law, drivers convicted of a first-time DUI offense with a BAC of under 0.10 would be required to install an ignition interlock on any vehicle they own, lease, or operate. The device would remain on the vehicles for a period of three to six months. First-time offenders with a BAC of 0.10 or higher would be required to use the device for a period of seven months to one year.
For a second-offense DUI, convicted drivers would be required to use an interlock device for two to four years. A third offense would trigger a 10-to 20-year ignition interlock requirement.
The legislation provides that drivers who fail to comply with the ignition interlock law or who tamper with an interlock device to circumvent its operation can be charged with a disorderly persons offense and may face other penalties, including license suspension for one year.
Contact the Tormey Law Firm in Paramus, NJ for a Free Consultation about Your DWI Charges
People facing charges for DUI or other alcohol-related offenses in New Jersey should seek help right away. Travis J. Tormey is a reputable criminal defense lawyer with a long history of success defending clients against DUI charges. He can help protect your rights and fight back against the DWI charges in your case. Call Mr. Tormey day or night at (201)-330-4979, or email him to arrange a free, in-person consultation.