If a driver is convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey, a court may order them to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle as one of their penalties. IIDs work by locking a vehicle’s engine from starting until it can detect no trace of alcohol from the driver’s breath.
These IIDs serve as a safeguard to prevent a drunk driver from getting behind the wheel. However, that hasn’t stopped some people from trying to bypass the devices through trickery.
It’s a punishable offense to violate IID requirements in New Jersey. The penalties could add to the driver’s current sentence for DWI.
Failure to install an IID is an offense
According to state law, a DWI-convicted person who doesn’t install an IID in their motor vehicle as ordered by a court commits an offense. The punishment for this violation is a one-year driver’s license suspension that’s consecutive to any other suspension or revocation imposed on the driver for their DWI conviction.
Starting an IID by other means, using a non-IID vehicle is an offense
Meanwhile, a person who has an IID installed on their vehicle commits an offense if they start their automobile by any means other than blowing into the IID. A person also commits an offense if they drive a vehicle not equipped with an IID. The penalty for this offense is also a one-year license suspension.
Avoiding IID operation is an offense
New Jersey also prohibits persons from using trickery to get around the IID restriction. These illegal methods include:
- Having another person blow into an IID to start the vehicle. Both the person ordered to maintain the IID and their accomplice can face charges.
- Tampering the functions of an IID.
- Renting, leasing or lending a motor vehicle without an IID to a person a court requires to use the device.
While the previous two offenses simply extended license suspensions, this offense is a separate disorderly persons offense. This offense is punishable by up to six months in jail.
IID requirements may be costly and inconvenient, but breaking the law to avoid using them leads to additional punishment. Those accused of violating IID restrictions shouldn’t overlook the penalties and consider consulting a legal professional.