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How Did The Law Change In December Of 2019 With Regard To DWI Convictions In New Jersey?


Since December of 2019 in New Jersey, a first-offense DWI with a blood alcohol level under 0.15 percent no longer results in a driver’s license suspension. However, if a person is convicted of DWI, they’ll be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle. Depending on what the judge decides, this device may be required for anywhere from three months to one year. An ignition interlock device requires a person to blow into it before starting their vehicle; if their blood alcohol level is above 0.05, the car will not start.

How Does This Change In Law Impact Pending DWI Cases In New Jersey?

If someone was charged with DWI prior to December of 2019, they may or may not be sentenced according to the new law; this determination is one that I am litigating in the Appellate court. Judges are likely to consider the severity and circumstances of the DWI charge in making these decisions.

If a person can’t drive, then they can’t work, and if someone has a tendency to drink, being stuck at home isn’t going to help. I believe that part of the motivation behind this change in the law is to help first offenders continue driving, continue working, and get back on the right track.

How Long Does Someone Have Before They Must Install The Ignition Interlock Device In Their Vehicle?

There is no specific time frame during which the ignition interlock device must be installed. The bottom line is that it must be installed prior to the person obtaining a license and they are suspended until this occurs.

Is The Ignition Interlock Device Optional For Someone Who Wants To Drive?

A person can opt for a suspension of their license, although this route is likely to be even more expensive than having an ignition interlock device installed.

Will I Have To Have An Ignition Interlock Device Installed On My Motorcycle?

If someone rides a motorcycle, they will need to have the ignition interlock device installed on it.

How Does The New DWI Law Impact Refusals In New Jersey?

A first-time refusal will result in the requirement to have an ignition interlock device installed, which is strange because this actually encourages people to refuse. A second-time refusal will result in a two-year driver’s license suspension and no interlock device option.

For more information on New DWI Laws In December 2019 In NJ, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (908) 210-9755 today.

The Law Offices of James A. Abate LLC

Get your questions answered – call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (908) 210-9755

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