New Jersey Reformed Existing IID Law
During the 2019 legislative session, New Jersey reformed its sentencing laws for first-time DWI offenders. Effective December 1, all DWI offenders will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) upon conviction. New Jersey has become the 34th state to pass an all-offender law in hopes to decrease repeat drunk driving, and joins Kentucky in passing this type of all-offender vehicle breathalyzer legislation this year.
In addition to requiring all offenders to install an IID, Senate Bill 824 made several other changes:
- Removes the hard license suspension for first-time offenders who have a BrAC of .15 or below. Offenders maintain driving privileges as long as they install an ignition interlock device.
- Reduces license forfeiture periods and increases IID required time periods after license reinstatement.
- Reduces license forfeiture for refusing to test and increases IID require time periods after license reinstatement.
- Adds compliance-based removal
- Requires semiannual summary reports from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
Previously, IIDs were only mandatory for repeat offenders, those who refuse a breathalyzer, and first-time offenders with a BrAC above .15%. First-time offenders with a BrAC below .15% were only required to install an IID if the court exercised its discretion and ordered the offender to install an IID.
What to Expect with an All-Offender Law in New Jersey
BrAC ≥ .08 and < .10
|Court orders driving privileges forfeited until IID installed; IID required for a minimum of 3 months
BrAC ≥ .10 and < .15
|Court orders driving privileges forfeited until IID installed; IID required for 7 months up to 1 year
BrAC .15 and above
|Court orders driving privileges forfeited until IID installed; IID required for 9 months up to 1 year
You may also face additional penalties, including fines, alcohol education classes, jail time and more.
Under the previous law, if you refused a breathalyzer for the first time, you had a hard license forfeiture period. Now first-time refusers will only have their license forfeited until they install an ignition interlock device. The bill also decreases license forfeiture periods and increases the length of an IID requirement.
Refusal Penalties Under the New Law
|1St Refusal to Test
||Court orders driving privileges forfeited until an IID installed 9 months to 15 months
|2nd Refusal to Test
||Court orders an IID for 1 to 2 years during license forfeiture and an additional 2 to 4 years after license returned
|3+ Refusals to Test
||Court orders IID for 8 years during license forfeiture and an additional 2 to 4 years after license returned
SB 824 included a compliance-based removal program. To remove your device, you must submit certification from your IID provider to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. This certification must prove that during the final 30 days of installation:
- You did not have more than one failure to take or pass a test with a BrAC of .08 or more unless a re-test within five minutes of the initial test indicated a BrAC of less than .08.
- You complied with all required maintenance, repair, calibration, monitoring and inspection requirements related to the device.
Praise for Senate Bill 284
Drunk driving killed 125 people on New Jersey roads in 2017. This law is a huge step to protect people on New Jersey’s roadways, as ignition interlock devices have proven to be the most effective way to prevent drunk driving recidivism.
“This law will expand interlock use to all drunk driving offenders and ensure this lifesaving technology is used to its fullest potential,” said Steven Benvenisti, a former MADD National Board Member.
MADD’s No More Victims campaign advocates for every state to pass all-offender ignition interlock laws so that no more people die as a result of drunk driving.
“Expanding the use of ignition interlock devices is just common sense,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “We must deter drunk driving without negatively impacting individuals’ ability to take care of themselves or their families. License suspensions are an imperfect tool for accomplishing both aims, as they do not stop drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and they can prevent ex-offenders from supporting their livelihoods. In contrast, ignition interlock devices prevent drunk driving while allowing ex-offenders to support themselves and their families."
Installing An Ignition Interlock Device
If you’ve been convicted of drunk driving and need an ignition interlock device, Intoxalock is here to help. Our customer support specialists walk you through getting a quote, ensuring you comply with your state’s requirements, setting up installation and more. Contact us today.
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