October 4, 2018
Ignition interlock devices are breath-testing machines that attach to a vehicle’s steering column to prevent the car from starting if the driver’s breath exceeds a certain blood alcohol content (BAC) limit. Once the vehicle is in motion, the driver is required to perform additional breath tests every 15 minutes.
Most interlock devices are installed with cameras that monitor all blow tests that occur in the vehicle. This is to ensure that the driver is the one blowing into the device. However, anyone can drive a vehicle with an interlock device if they pass the breath test to start the car.
Will I Be Ordered to Install an Interlock Device?
Although not everyone who faces a driving under the influence (DUI) charge will be ordered to install an interlock device on their ignition, those who face DUI charges should contact a Haddon Heights criminal defense lawyer to determine the likelihood of this requirement for their case.
However, under New Jersey law, the following circumstances will call for a mandatory installation:
- First DUI: Drivers whose BAC level is .15 percent or higher will be required to install an interlock device for at least six months after the required license suspension is served.
- Second and Third DUI: Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for at least one year after license is restored.
How Much Does an Interlock Device Cost?
Interlock devices are leased, and the average cost is approximately $60 to $90 dollars per month. Initial device installation charges could cost an additional $150.
Those facing DUI charges should keep the following in mind:
- A driver may be ordered to install an interlocking device on every car they own or drive.
- Those that do not own vehicles can be ordered to install devices on work vehicles or friends’ cars.
- Interlock devices are often installed throughout the duration of license suspension.
- Subsequent offenders may be court ordered to keep the device for up to three years after their license is restored
Ignition Interlock Device Reliability
The consequences of failing an ignition interlock breath-test can range from having to wait five minutes to try again, to a 24-hour lockout. Additionally, failing a retest while driving will require the driver to pull over on the side of the road, possibly becoming stranded wherever they are.
However, when a sober driver encounters an emergency and cannot start their car due to a false reading, the consequences extend beyond a simple inconvenience. Since true alcohol BAC can only be determined through a blood test, alcohol breath testers can only offer an estimate, and this estimate can be falsely inflated depending on several factors.
- Tobacco: Long-term, heavy smokers can produce higher BAC readings.
- Fumes: Paint-remover, cleaning fluids, and other chemical fumes that may have been inhaled can cause inflated readings.
- Diets: Fruit juices, low carb diets, and excessively high carb meals can increase natural levels of alcohol in the body.
- Body temperature: Elevated body temperatures can cause a seven percent increase in BAC readings for every one degree above normal.
Haddon Heights Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Law Office of Thomas J. Gossé Assists Those Facing DUI Charges
If you face a DUI charge, you have a lot on your mind. Do not leave your future unprotected. A dedicated, knowledgeable Haddon Heights criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Thomas J. Gossé can help. Contact us online or call us today at 856-546-6600 for a free consultation. We proudly serve clients throughout southern New Jersey at our Haddon Heights office.