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Does NJ have an interlock ignition law?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2020 | Drunk Driving |

Many states have ignition interlock device laws. This means that if you get pulled over for drunk driving and convicted, you must install an ignition interlock device in your car to retain your driving privileges. 
New Jersey has had ignition interlock device laws for a while, but the government updated them in 2019. According to, as of November 2019, persons convicted of driving under the influence must install ignition interlock devices in their cars on a first offense. 
What is an ignition interlock device? 
An ignition interlock device operates as a breathalyzer. A company will install the device in the car, and anybody who wishes to drive the car must breathe into the device or the car will not start. Once the car has started, the ignition interlock device will occasionally require the driver to breathe into it again to prove that the driver has not consumed alcohol after starting the car. 
The idea behind an ignition interlock device is to allow people to continue using their car for necessary transport, but eliminate the ability to drink and drive. 
Why did the law change? 
Supporters of the law say that it is important not only to arrest drunk drivers but also to ensure that drunk drivers cannot become repeat offenders. With an ignition interlock device installed in the car, persons who might otherwise drive drunk will not be able to start the car. 
Another change in the law is that persons who were only slightly over the legal limit when caught will not have their licenses suspended. This is in hopes of preventing unlicensed driving.