New Legislation Will Change First-Time DWI Penalties
On August 23, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy enacted a new law that will expand the use of ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders convicted of drunk driving. The new state law will reduce the length of license suspensions and will make ignition interlock devices a requirement. This legislation will go into effect later in the year.
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a piece of equipment installed into a vehicle that measures the driver’s alcohol content. The driver blows into the device and can only turn on the engine if there is no alcohol in his or her system. All IIDs must be purchased at the cost of the offender.
Under the new law, a first-time offender in New Jersey with a blood alcohol content (BAC) between 0.08% – 0.10% will have their driver’s license suspended for 30 days. Upon reinstatement, an ignition interlock device must be installed at their own cost and will be used for six months.
A first-time offender with a BAC of 0.10% – 0.15% will have their driver’s license suspended for 45 days. An IID must be installed for six months to a year, depending on the court’s discretion. For a first-time offender who has a BAC higher than 0.15%, the IID will be used for one year to 18 months, along with a license suspension of 90 days, effective after the conviction.
“Expanding the use of ignition interlock devices is just common sense,” said Governor Murphy. “We must deter drunk driving without negatively impacting individuals’ ability to take care of themselves or their families. License suspensions are an imperfect tool for accomplishing both aims, as they do not stop drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and they can prevent ex-offenders from supporting their livelihoods. In contrast, ignition interlock devices prevent drunk driving while allowing ex-offenders to support themselves and their families.”
If you have been charged with a DUI in New Jersey, you will need an experienced defense attorney to advocate for you. Contact the Law Office of Carl Spector today to protect your rights and get the help you deserve. Call (201) 730-5220 to schedule a free consultation.