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Interlock Decisions on Sentencing in NJ

March 10, 2023

Interlock Decisions on Sentencing in NJ

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is considered a serious crime in New Jersey. If you are arrested, charged, and convicted of DUI in New Jersey, you face serious penalties. The severity of the penalties you face will depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) as well as whether you have been convicted of DUI previously. Penalties include large fines, long sentences in jail as well as suspension of your driving license. You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. 

What is an Ignition Interlock Device in NJ?

Having an IID installed in your vehicle is like having a breathalyzer with you wherever you go. The machine is installed in vehicles to test the blood alcohol content of the driver before they start their vehicle. The IID will register your BAC and determine whether it is lower than 0.08%, the state’s legal limit. If it is higher than this, the device will lock down your vehicle so that you won’t be able to start it. It will also set off the vehicle’s horn and make the lights start flashing until your turn the vehicle off. Drivers are also required to blow into the device every so often while driving to ensure their BACs remain below the legal limit. 

The IID must be recalibrated every now and then. The drivers are responsible for taking it to a service center for recalibration. 

Who Decides the IID Sentence in a DUI Case in NJ?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding which entity handles the sentencing of the IID device in a DUI case, the Supreme Court or the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). In New Jersey, the Supreme Court makes decisions on issues regarding IID sentencing in DUI cases. This means that if you fail to adhere to the requirements of your sentencing or want to petition the sentence, your case will be addressed by the court and not the MVC. 

The MVC’s role in IID sentencing is to ensure that the device is installed following sentencing by the court before reinstating the driver’s license. The MVC’s administrative hearings address issues such as revocations, suspensions, and reinstating driving privileges. The hearings cannot override a judicial sentence. 

What if I Can’t Install an IID in NJ?

There are instances when a person sentenced to have the IID installed cannot have the device installed. New Jersey Law makes a provision for those that fail to install the IID. This will add a one-year suspension on your license unless you have a good reason for not complying with the requirements of your sentence. The court must determine whether the defendant has a good enough reason not to install the device. For example, the defendant must swear under oath that they do not have access to a vehicle or own a vehicle. The revocation or suspension of their license will be extended for the period required for the IID installation. 

Avoid DWI Conviction 

The best remedy to an IID sentence is to avoid a DWI conviction in the first place. The attorneys at our law firm will fight to protect your freedom and rights. Contact us now to get started.

Contact an Experienced Cherry Hill DUI Defense Attorney About Your Ignition Interlock Device

Were you charged with a DWI or DUI offense in New Jersey? A drunk driving conviction could leave you with a permanent record, and it could result in you having an IID installed in your vehicle. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified DWI defense lawyer about your case. The Law Offices of Michele Finizio represents clients charged with drunk driving, breath test refusal, and related offenses in Evesham Township, Mount Laurel, Willingboro, Pemberton, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 230-0374 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 9 E Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057, in addition to an office located in Cherry Hill, NJ.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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