New Jersey DUI FAQs
What Is An Ignition Interlock Device?
An alcohol ignition interlock device [“AIID”] is a breath testing instrument interfacing with a car’s ignition that measures a person’s breath alcohol content [“BrAC”] before starting the car. After the AIID takes an initial reading, it prompts you at random intervals to blow into it again to ensure that you remain under the legal limit while driving. The device will prevent you from starting your car if you blow above 0.05%, but from the court’s perspective, no violation occurs unless you blow above 0.08%.
Who Is Required To Use An Ignition Interlock Device In New Jersey?
AIID installation is required in the vehicle of anyone convicted of a DWI or breath test refusal charge in New Jersey. The only exception is for first-offense DWI drug-related convictions.
How Long Is An Ignition Interlock Device Required After A DWI In New Jersey?
When a person is convicted of DWI or breath test refusal in New Jersey, the Court will revoke the person’s driving privilege indefinitely. That indefinite revocation ends when the person installs an AIID in the car that person principally operates.
For First-Time Offenders
The AIID must remain for three months if the breath test result at the time of arrest was below a 0.10%, or if there was no breath test at all.
The AIID must remain for seven to nine months if the breath test result at the time of arrest was between 0.10% to 0.14%.
The AIID must remain for nine to fifteen months if the breath test result at the time of arrest was 0.15% or greater. In these cases, the interlock period begins after a “hard” revocation period—i.e., the time when no driving is permitted at all–of four to six months.
For Second-Time Offenders
Two to four years after a hard revocation period of one year.
For Third-Time Offenders
Two to four years after a hard revocation period of eight years and a six-month jail term.
Can I Get A Temporary License Or Work Permit After A DWI Charge Or Conviction In Asbury Park, New Jersey?
There is no such thing as a work permit or hardship license in New Jersey. The only limited licenses are those that require drivers to operate vehicles which have been equipped with an AIID.
For first offenders with a BAC reading of less than 0.15% at the time of their arrest, there is an indefinite license revocation, which typically only lasts for a day or two. During that time, the person who has been convicted must have an AIID installed in their vehicle. That person will then go to the Motor Vehicle Commission to obtain a physical driver’s license with the restriction imprinted on it.
Once those two steps are completed, one can drive with a limited license, restricted to operating only the vehicle in which the AIID is installed.
Will I Have To Have An Ignition Interlock Device Installed In My Vehicle While My DWI Case Is Pending?
In New Jersey, there are no consequences for DWI unless and until there is a conviction. There is no need to install an AIID while your case is pending, with one exception:
If there is an appeal after a conviction, the court has the power to restrict driving to a vehicle equipped with an AIID while the appeal is pending. Such a restriction is within the discretion of the judge and rarely imposed until the conviction is final.
Can I Carry Passengers In My Vehicle On A Restricted License After A DWI Conviction?
There is no restriction on passengers for any driver in New Jersey unless you are a provisional driver. Provisional drivers are those under the age of 21 and who have just been granted a driver’s license.
Otherwise, if you adhere to the requirements of your sentence and drive the car equipped with an interlock, you are free to carry passengers at your discretion.
Do I Need To Apply For A Driver’s License Hearing After A Dwi Charge In New Jersey?
In New Jersey, the traffic offenses of DWI and breath test refusal are treated as court proceedings. Because of this, there are no parallel administrative procedures through the Motor Vehicles Commission. Instead, the only administrative consequences come after a conviction in Court.
If you are convicted of a DWI, breath test refusal, or both, you will face one set of administrative consequences. The first administrative consequence is something called the Merit Rating Plan Surcharge. This is a $3,000 tax payable either in three annual installments of $1,000 each or 36 monthly installments of about $84 each. You will also face a safe driving surcharge that will amount to a total of between $525 and $675, payable in installments over three years. The driving record determines how much you will be assessed for this surcharge.
What Is The Status Of The Drug Influence Evaluation And Drug Recognition Expert Testimony Trial In New Jersey?
A Drug Influence Evaluation [“DIE”] is technique used by a specially trained officers called a Drug Recognition Expert or Drug Recognition Evaluator [“DRE”] to formulate an opinion whether a person is under the influence of drugs. The New Jersey Supreme Court ordered a special hearing before a judge called a special master. They appointed the Hon. Joseph F. Lisa, J.A.D. (retired, on recall), to consider whether this DIE technique is competent evidence for a trial court to consider and from which a DRE can form an opinion whether a person is under the influence of drugs. Testimony concluded on February 15, 2022, after 42 days of testimony. The record from this hearing includes more than 8,000 pages of transcript and more than 600 exhibits. The parties and amici submitted briefs on March 11, 2022. Judge Lisa will likely issue his report in mid to late summer. The Supreme Court will then schedule oral argument and probably release a decision sometime in the fall.
The case went well for the defense.
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