When someone is faced with a DWI charge, their first concern might be whether they will end up serving jail time or not. However, DWI penalties encompass a lot more than time in jail or prison, and it’s important to be cognizant of all the consequences you might face if convicted.
A DWI defense team with experience can help you understand your situation better, including the chances of beating DWI charges and what your best defense options might be. They can also walk you through the consequences you can deal with if you are convicted, which include the use of an ignition interlock device.
An ignition interlock device is a device that is installed in personal vehicles and requires you to pass a breathalyzer test before the vehicle can be turned on. While devices made by various manufacturers are slightly different, they are generally comprised of parts such as a mouthpiece to blow in, a handheld unit to manage the device, and a cord that relays the information to the vehicle computer and ignition system.
To use an ignition interlock device, you must blow into the mouthpiece before you start the car. The device runs a blood alcohol content test, similar to the one law enforcement might use when testing for BAC levels after stopping someone for suspected DWI. If your BAC content indicates that you may be intoxicated, your vehicle will not start.
New Jersey law requires ignition interlock installation after even a first DWI conviction, though the length of time you must have the ignition interlock device depends on the nature of your conviction.
The requirement for an ignition interlock device after a DWI conviction is a court order. This means you are legally compelled to comply with it. Failure to comply with it can result in a longer loss of your license. Specifically, if you try to avoid the ignition interlock device requirements and drive without the device, you can face another year of license revocation.
The convicted person pays for the ignition interlock device. This is on top of numerous other penalties and fees you might end up paying if you are convicted of DWI, including:
As you can see, the expenses associated with a DWI conviction can mount quickly. You may pay between $2.50 and $3.50 per day to lease an ignition interlock device. You’ll need to work with a business that has a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) license and that will install a device from an approved list of ignition interlock device manufacturers.
Going by the average daily lease figure above, you might pay around $75 to $105 for the ignition interlock device each month. If you require one for a whole year, the cost might range between $900 and $1,260.
Once you have served the required term with the ignition interlock device, the BAIID vendor that installed it must remove it. However, they will only do so if you have complied with all the requirements of the term, including any necessary repairs, maintenance, and calibration of the device. They will also check that there has not been more than one time when you failed the BAC test on the device in the previous 30 days.
If these requirements aren’t met, the BAIID vendor will not remove your device. It will also forward that information to the court. At that time, the judge may issue an order for extended ignition interlock device requirements, which can result in you having the device for up to 90 additional days.
DWI charges may be traffic crimes, but they can have a serious impact on your freedom, future, and finances. Don’t face such charges alone. Work with experienced DWI defense lawyers to protect your rights and support your defense. Call the Hernandez Law Firm, P.C., to discuss options for your DWI defense at 732-582-5076.