DWI laws in the state of New Jersey have serious consequences for anyone who’s convicted of driving while intoxicated. Even a single DWI charge could force you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. This device won’t make it impossible to drive if you’re sober, but it can make it harder to operate a vehicle.
What is an ignition interlock device?
An ignition interlock device is meant to keep you from driving under the influence. Before you start the car, you have to blow into the device and measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If your BAC is 0.05% or more, the vehicle won’t start. Otherwise, you can start the vehicle and continue with the rest of your day.
If a judge issues a DWI conviction, they might suspend your license for a year or more. When you get your license reinstated, you might have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for up to one year. The judge might rule that you have to install the device before you get your license reinstated if you had a BAC of 0.15% or more.
When you reach your second DWI charge, the judge might force you to install the device during your license suspension and maintain the device for up to three years after you get your license back. Your DWI defense attorney might point out that this could make it harder to drive even when you’re sober. It also makes it harder for other people to use your vehicle since they’ll still have to use the device.
For this reason, you may want to hire a criminal defense attorney. Otherwise, you might be paying for your DWI years after the initial conviction.
What if you don’t install the interlock ignition device?
If you ignore the court order and don’t install the device, the judge might suspend your license for another year. You might face additional penalties if you still refuse to install the device on your vehicle. When dealing with DWI charges, it’s best to talk to an attorney first before you take any kind of action.