Ignition interlock devices: What are they and who may need one?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2019 | Drunk Driving |

The state of New Jersey does not treat drunk driving lightly. If a criminal court convicts you on a DUI charge, you may face fines, incarceration, license suspension and the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

An ignition interlock device prevents you from starting your vehicle if the device reads you have alcohol in your system. This piece of equipment allows DUI offenders the ability to drive if they are able to stay sober. Without this option, DUI offenders would just have to wait until their license suspension periods are up before they can drive again.

Common questions

What an ignition interlock device does is pretty straightforward, but those required to have the device may have a number of questions. Here are a few of them:

  • If I move out of the state of New Jersey, do I need to keep the device on my car? Yes, failure to keep the equipment installed could result in the state suspending your license, which may prevent your new state from issuing you a license there.
  • Can I remove the device early? No. When a court issues an ignition interlock device order, the order will include the length of time the equipment must be in your vehicle unless your car is destroyed in an accident, sold or impounded.
  • If I do not have a car, what is the point of the ignition interlock order? You may not have a car now but could in the future, so the court order will stand firm throughout the ordered term.
  • What if I fail to install the device on my car? This may result in a one-year license suspension.

As you can see, the state takes the issuing and use of ignition interlock devices just as seriously as it takes drunk driving. There are consequences for failing to abide by the court’s ignition interlock equipment order. If you have further questions about how the ignition interlock device program works, your legal counsel should be able to provide answers. 

Not an option for everyone

Not all New Jersey residents ultimately convicted on DUI charges will qualify for the ignition interlock device program. If you feel it will benefit your situation, it is okay to ask questions about the program in order to see if you may qualify.


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