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Ignition Interlock Devices

New Jersey statutes require the installation of an ignition interlock device on vehicles primarily used by persons convicted of either driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or the refusal to submit to a breath test. A judge has the discretion not to require the interlock on those persons convicted of drunk driving for the first time, if the breath or blood test is less than 0.15 percent. In all other cases the ignition interlock device must be installed during the period of suspension and for six months to three years after restoration of driving privileges.

The ignition interlock device must be leased from an approved vendor and installed on the vehicle principally used by the convicted person. When the driver's privilege to drive is restored, the license will be imprinted that an ignition interlock is required.

When installed the interlock requires any driver of the vehicle to blow into the device. If a prohibited amount of alcohol is in the person's system the vehicle will not start. In order to confirm continued sobriety, the interlock will periodically notify the driver to pull over to repeat the procedure several times during a typical hour of driving. Periodically the device must be inspected and downloaded. Confirmation of the successful installation and use of the interlock device is required to satisfy the sentence.

Besides penalties imposed on drivers who fail to install or properly use the device, anyone who aids another in evading the ignition interlock requirement is subject to criminal prosecution.

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Joseph J. Rodgers, Chartered
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