Updates on Interlock Devices
April 2015 – The possibility of significant revision to the New Jersey statute involving Driving While Intoxicated, took an abrupt turn at the last moment, when Governor Christie conditionally vetoed amendments to the DWI law which had been adopted by the Assembly and Senate.
The legislation provided for continued driving privileges after conviction for first and second DWI offenses, if the driver installed an Ignition Interlock Device. The present law requires installation of these devices upon conviction of first offenses where the blood alcohol content was .15% BAC or higher and in all other DWI and Refusal convictions but makes no provision for operation during the period of suspension.
Interlock devices are portable breath test devices which allow vehicles to operate only after the driver has provided a breath sample and the BAC is .05% or less. The Governor’s conditional veto provided for adoption of the new legislation, with elimination of vehicle use during suspension and extension of mandatory Interlock use for all DWI violations.
Consequently, New Jersey continues to have no provision to allow operation during the period of suspension after a DWI or Refusal conviction. I believe work licenses and diversionary treatment should be available in New Jersey, as they have been in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware and many other states.