When Is The Ignition Interlock Device Required For DWI Convictions?
Any person convicted of a DWI that occurred after December 1st, 2019 is required to install an alcohol ignition interlock. The periods vary depending on whether the person is a first, second, or third offender. For first offenders, it also depends on what the breath test or blood test result was. The only time when an ignition interlock is not required is if a first offender is convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs. In that case, there is a hard revocation but no interlock requirement.
I Don’t Currently Own Or Operate A Vehicle. Do I Still Need To Do Anything For An Interlock Device After A DWI Conviction?
After December 1, 2019, restoration of driving privileges depends on showing that you own or have available a vehicle with the interlock device installed. If you cannot show that you have access to a vehicle with an interlock device, you face an indefinite driving privilege revocation until the condition is met. Coincidentally, we have that particular issue on appeal in a case under the old law with the theory that the law discriminates against people who are too poor to own motor vehicles. How that turns out remains to be seen.
What Would Happen If Someone Failed To Get An Interlock Device Installed In Their Vehicle In New Jersey After A DWI Conviction?
If a person fails to get an interlock device installed in their vehicle after a DWI conviction in New Jersey, their driving privileges would remain suspended indefinitely. I have a case presently pending in the Appellate Division challenging the fairness of this requirement for people without the means to own a car or pay for automobile insurance.
Which Of My Vehicles Needs To Have The Interlock Device Installed?
The law requires that the vehicle that is primarily operated is the only one that needs to have an interlock device installed.
What Do I Need To Do If I Have The Interlock Device Removed Before My Required Interlock Time Is Over–E.G., If I Was In A Car Accident And My Vehicle Was Totaled?
Under the law that went into effect on December 1st, 2019, interlock installers act as quasi probation officers who are required to report to the court during a person’s last month of interlock installation. They have to report whether the person has complied with all of the installer’s requirements, such as payments and BAC level registrations. In cases where a driver’s participation in the interlock period is interrupted through no fault of their own, there are arguments that could be made. However, I suspect that the Motor Vehicle Commission is going to see if the interlock was placed in another vehicle.
I’ve Met All My Restoration Requirements Except For Certifying That My Interlock Has Been Installed. What Do I Need To Do Now?
If you have met all of your restoration requirements, the next step is to get your interlock device installed or your driving privilege will remain revoked indefinitely.
Do I Have To Provide The Paperwork In Court?
If a person is required to have an interlock device installed, they are required to certify to the court under penalty of perjury the identity the vehicle in which the interlock is or will be installed or certify that they do not have a vehicle owned, leased, or available to them. If a person fails to certify to this requirement, they could end up being in contempt of court, which is a whole different situation that could lead to criminal prosecution.
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