If you are facing charges of the intoxicated operation of a vehicle, you understand that your future could be at stake. It is in your interests to know what you are up against at this point, from how to develop the most appropriate defense strategy for your individual situation to what penalties you are facing if convicted. This can help you pursue the most beneficial outcome to your unique case.
One of the penalties you could face after a DWI is the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. In New Jersey, this is a potential penalty even after a first offense. For first-time offenders, this may be a requirement for up to three months, but for a third offense, this may be a requirement for up to 144 months.
The details of an ignition interlock device
An ignition interlock device is a small apparatus installed in the vehicle, and the driver must breathe into it in order for the vehicle to start. If the driver has more than a very low amount of alcohol in his or her system, the vehicle will not operate at all. The device may ask for random breath tests while the vehicle is in operation, and if the driver does not submit one, the vehicle may honk or sound an alarm until the driver pulls over and stops the vehicle.
If you must have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, it is likely that you will bear the financial responsibility for it. You will need to go to a state-approved seller in order to have one properly attached to your vehicle. There may be installation costs, fees associated with the device, insurance fees, calibration fees and monitoring costs. You may also have to have regular inspections of the device as long as it is in your vehicle.
After a DWI
Even if it is your first offense, a DWI can have a detrimental impact on your life. An ignition interlock device is only one of the many penalties you could face if convicted of driving while intoxicated. As soon as possible after your arrest, you will benefit from a careful assessment of your case and explanation of the specific defense options available to you. You have the right to seek to mitigate some of the penalties you are facing and fight for the best possible outcome to your case.