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Many people in New Jersey are not exactly sure what an ignition interlock device is, but many have at least heard the term. As New Jersey DWI attorneys, we are sometimes asked, “will I get an ignition interlock for DWI in New Jersey?” Below we will discuss when a judge must sentence someone to install an ignition interlock device, and proposed legislation that will expand the program.

Related: Traffic Tickets, DWI/DUI, Points for New Jersey Traffic Violations, Criminal Law.

An ignition interlock device is a mechanism that is installed in a car – before the car will start, the driver must blow into the device. The car will start only if the driver has no alcohol on his breath. There are many penalties that people who are convicted or plead guilty in New Jersey for drunk driving will receive. Currently, under Ricci’s Law, enacted in January of 2010, if a person pleads guilty to DWI or is found guilty at trial, then the judge must order an ignition interlock device to be installed in all cars owned, leased, and/or regularly operated by the defendant for a period of 6 months after the end of their license suspension for all first time DWI offenders with a blood alcohol content of at least .15%, and for all first time drunk drivers who refuse to take a breath test. If it’s a second offense, then the judge must order the ignition interlock for at least 1 year. Currently, if the BAC is less than .15%, then the judge may or may not order the ignition interlock device – it is within the judge’s discretion.

The New Jersey legislature is now considering a new proposed law that will change the current system. If the new law passes, it will be mandatory for the judge to order an ignition interlock device for all drunk drivers in New Jersey. If the BAC is less than .10%, then the device would be required for 6 months. More than .10%, or if the person was intoxicated by drugs, then the interlock would be required for 7 to 12 months. The new law also increases the time periods for the interlock devices for second and subsequent offenders.

People who choose to drive after drinking or using drugs should seriously consider these penalties, as well as the obvious risk to their own safety and the safety of those around them.

Remember, the police and prosecutors have teams of people working to put drunk drivers in jail. In the process, they may overstep their bounds or arrest innocent people.  If you have any question or you or a loved one were accused of drunk driving, please do not hesitate to contact us for a 100% free consultation.

Raff & Raff, LLP
Attorneys at Law
30 Church Street
Paterson, NJ 07505

Tel: (973) 742-1917
Fax: (973) 742-2454


Based in Paterson, New Jersey, Raff & Raff, LLP services clients in the communities of Bloomingdale, Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, Passaic, Paterson, Pompton Lakes, Prospect Park, Ringwood, Totowa, Wanaque, Wayne, West Milford, Woodland Park, Allendale, Alpine, Bergenfield, Bogota, Carlstadt, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, East Rutherford, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Emerson, Englewood, Fair Lawn, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Glenn Rock, Hackensack, Hasbrouck Heights, Haworth, Hillsdale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Leonia, Little Ferry, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Maywood, Midland Park, Montvale, Moonachie, New Milford, North Arlington, Northvale, Norwood, Oakland, Old Tappan, Oradell, Palisades Park, Paramus, Park Ridge, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgewood, River Edge, River Vale, Rochelle Park, Rockleigh, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Saddle River, Teaneck, Tenafly, Teterboro, Waldwick, Wallington, Westwood, Wood-Ridge, Woodcliff Lake, Wyckoff, Belleville, Bloomfield, Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Orange, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Livingston, Maplewood, Millburn, Montclair, Newark, North Caldwell, Nutley, Roseland, Verona, Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, West New York, Guttenberg, Secaucus, Kearney, Harrison, North Bergen, Weehawken, Elizabeth, Linden, Plainsfield, Rahway, Union, Scotch Plains, Clark, Cranford, Hillside, Westfield, Roselle, and surrounding areas.