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October, 16 2018
Proposed Changes to NJ’s DUI Ignition Lock Program

.There are a lot of misconceptions and distortions in some people’s minds about the different laws surrounding DUIs. One of the main reasons behind this is that laws are constantly changing. It can often be hard to keep up with these different changes. An area that some people get confused about is the DUI ignition lock program that New Jersey has in place. To add to this confusion is that there are some proposed changes to this particular program.

What is a DUI Ignition Lock?

A DUI ignition lock is like an additional key to your car. In order for you to start your car, you have to blow into the device. If you have any alcohol in your system, the car will not start. If your breath is alcohol-free, your car will start. Devices require you to blow into the ignition system at the time you start your car. It also tests you at random intervals as you’re driving. Now, if you happen to have alcohol in your system during these random interval testing, it won’t shut off your vehicle as that would be unsafe. However, it does send a report that you failed one of the breathalyzer tests. This system is viewed as a safeguard to prevent someone from getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.

Current DUI Ignition Lock Program

The current DUI ignition lock program requires you to install this system on your own using your own money. You have to be ordered to do so by the courts. It currently takes a bit more than just having an arrest for a DUI to cause you to have to install a DUI ignition lock on your car. The installation of a DUI ignition lock on your automobile typically occurs if you’re a repeat offender or had a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher. This qualification means that not every offender would have to bear the expense of this installation and have to worry about using it.

Proposed Change to the DUI Ignition Lock Program

There are some proposed changes to the current DUI ignition lock program. They have been put up by the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee. This proposed change will expand the reach of who has to install this type of system on their car. The new proposal is that anyone convicted of a DUI will have to install a DUI ignition lock on their car. This proposal is intended to be more of a deterrent to prevent people from continuing to drive when they are not supposed to do so. Taking away a license doesn’t physically stop them from getting behind the wheel when they are drunk. An ignition lock is more effective in this prevention.

How Does This Impact Current DUI Offenders

Current DUI Offenders that have a conviction will become part of the DUI ignition lock program. They will have to go through the steps of having this system put into their vehicle.  It’s possible that those with prior convictions won’t have to go through this step, but more than likely, all will have to go through this program. This change can mean that you have to bear the expense of having an ignition lock system put into your vehicle.

How Does This Impact Future DUI Offenders

This proposed change has a silver lining for some future DUI offenders even though every conviction will result in having to be part of NJ’s DUI ignition lock program. This proposal will potentially lessen the punishment when it comes to first-time offenders. At least when it comes to the period of time for license suspension. As it’s believed that the ignition lock itself will prevent offenders from committing the same offense, it doesn’t make sense to take away the driving privileges of someone that is a first-time offender as this may help to stay on the right path. It allows them to start driving again, and hopefully, not disrupt their normal daily living to keep them as a productive member of the community.  

Getting professional assistance after an arrest can be in your best interest. This fact is especially true if this proposed change to the law passes. An experienced legal professional can work with you to create the best steps to move forward. A good defense can potentially prevent that initial conviction of a DUI. It can prevent you from having to become part of the DUI ignition lock program.

Contacting the Law Office of Douglas Herring after an arrest can be beneficial to your future. DUI charges are a serious matter and are best-taken care of right away. Getting legal assistance early in the process can make a difference in the type of defense you receive. Your lawyer has more of an opportunity to gather evidence and speak with witnesses. This effort can make a world of a difference to the process.   

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