If you are convicted of DUI-DWI in New Jersey you face several penal consequences including fines, surcharges, license suspension, and even jail time. However, ever since September 30, 2000, New Jersey has required one more additional requirement: the installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) upon the completion of the period of license suspension.

This device must be installed on all vehicles you own, lease, or regularly operate. It must remain in use for six months to a year for a first offense, and one to three years for a second or subsequent offender.

However, judges have the discretion to waive the requirement on a first offense. The company that installs it must check it at least once every 67 days and maintain a record of any tampering.

How Does It Work?

Before starting the engine you must give a breath sample. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds 0.05%, the engine will not start. Even if it does start, the device does require a periodic breath sample from you while the vehicle is in use (although it will not shut off the engine once the vehicle is in use).

One thing the device cannot determine is who is driving. Therefore, you should be very careful who you allow to drive your car while it is installed, as you will be held responsible for any consequences if that driver was drinking.

What Are the Consequences of Not Having One or Tampering With It?

Failing to have the device installed also has consequences.  You could lose your license for an additional year. This could also happen if you have someone else blow into the device to get the engine to start or drive a vehicle that does not have the interlock installed.

It is also considered a Disorderly Person's Offense, punishable by a fine of up to $1,006, up to 180 days in jail, and a license suspension of up to two years, to:

  • Blow into an interlock device in order to allow someone else to drive;
  • Tamper with or in any way circumvent the operation of a BAIID;
  • Knowingly rent, lease, or lend a vehicle not equipped with a BAIID to someone required to use one.

So What Do I Do?

DUI-DWI is taken very seriously in New Jersey. If you have been charged with drunk driving in southern New Jersey, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule a free consultation.

If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's drunk driving law, then download my free book, How Much Trouble Am I In? A Guide to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law.

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.