On December 1, 2019, New Jersey will become the 34th state to require anyone convicted of a DUI to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle, also known as an all-offender law.
Ignition Interlock Devices
IIDs are instruments that a person blows into to test their blood-alcohol level before starting the vehicle. The vehicle will start only if the driver's blood-alcohol level is under a certain percentage, and most IIDs also require the driver to periodically blow into the device to ensure it is truly the driver who is using the IID.
Critics/Proponents of the New Law
But critics say that another portion of the new law also reduces driver's license suspensions for first-time DUI offenders, so it will not deter people from drinking and driving. According to one New Jersey defense attorney, “There's no reason now that somebody would really worry about going out, getting drunk and driving, getting arrested, and refusing to take the breath test because they're not going to lose their license.” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the law in August 2019.
In a statement, Governor Murphy said, “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.”
The organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving strongly supports all-offender laws and says that they recommend the IIDs be installed for a minimum of six months.
Washington's IID Law
Washington is also an all-offender state. If you are convicted of a DUI in Washington, even if it is your first offense, you will be required to install an IID. Not only is there a stigma of having an IID, but it can also be costly. One IID company lists a cost of $3 per day to operate an IID. And that can add up quickly, especially given that most of us drive on a daily basis.
DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI, it doesn't mean you've been convicted. You need a strong, knowledgable defense to clear your name and prevent you from having to install an IID in your vehicle. Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi at 206-621-8777 immediately after you've been charged and learn how he can help, or fill out an online contact form to get started.