Ignition Interlock Required for New Jersey DWI Conviction When BAC over .15

For any individual charged with DWI after January 15, 2010, take note…if you are facing a first conviction for DWI, and your BAC was .15 or above, or you are facing a refusal offense, or second or subsequent DWI charge, you will also be facing the mandatory imposition of an ignition interlock system on any car that is primarily operated by you. If the BAC is .15 or above, upon conviction, the interlock system will be ordered for not only the period of suspension, but also for up to a year following the reinstatement of your license.

The installation and monitoring process is expensive and further exacerbates the already oppressive DWI penalty structure. Additionally, whether a car is primarily operated by the defendant is somewhat of an elastic term and some judges have ordered that the ignition interlock be installed on “family”cars that the defendant has access to. This can produce some odd situations, like your 75 yr old mother who lives with you having this contraption installed on her car.

The MVC website has the new ignition interlock laws posted on their site. The recent changes to these requirements further motivates the individual charged with DWI to fight the charge to the fullest.

What some don’t realize is that you can be convicted of DWI without a Breathalyzer/Alcotest reading. This is called an observation case. But if you were convicted just on observations, you would face a 3 month loss of license for a first offense, as opposed to a 7 month to 1 year loss for BAC .15 and the imposition of the interlock system. Long story short, try to suppress the readings, and see if you can disprove the states observations case.

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