WHAT IS AN INTERLOCK DEVICE: An Interlock device is a portable breathalyzer installed in vehicles to measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) of an individual driver. Before the vehicle can be started, the driver must breathe into a mouthpiece; the device then analyzes the BAC and if the result is greater than the pre-programmed level of .08% BAC the vehicle will not start. The device also requires periodic breath samples as the vehicle continues to move.
WHAT IS THE LAW REGARDING INTERLOCK DEVICES IN NJ: New Jersey requires ignition interlocks for all repeat and first-time convicted drunk drivers with a BAC of .15 % or greater. A new proposed Bill would strengthen New Jersey’s current ignition interlock law by requiring a first-time convicted drunk driver with a BAC of .08 % to .14 % (not the previous .15 %) to use an interlock for a period of three to 12 months, unless a judge determines that a license suspension is more appropriate. Under the new proposed law, if the convicted person attempts to drive with a prohibited BAC during the last one-third of the interlock use, the time on the interlock will be extended.
Currently, the installation of the interlock goes into effect after the suspension period. That means after the suspension period is over, the convicted person must then have the interlock installed on his or her car for the additional time which can be up to three years or more. The offender pays for the device to be installed and during its use. If caught driving any other vehicle without an interlock device or failure to install or remove it, will result in additional suspension time.
WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE AN ATTORNEY FOR DUI: New Jersey is one of, if not the, toughest state for DUI. There are thousands of dollars in fines, jail time, loss of license and as mentioned above, the interlock device to contend with. A conviction for DUI, even a first conviction, can result in the loss of a job, child custody, getting a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or worse. You should never drink and drive but if you do and are charged with a DUI, call my office immediately.