Changes to New Jersey DWI Sentencing

Changes to New Jersey DWI Sentencing

Some big changes are coming to New Jersey DWI Sentencing DWI penalties effective December 1, 2019. One of the biggest changes is the expansion of the use of ignition interlock devices, often called “IIDs.” The IID is a device that is installed into a vehicle and will not allow the vehicle to be operated if it detects alcohol on the driver’s breath. The state legislature has found that “because a majority of drunk drivers, including first time offenders, often continue to drive with suspended licenses, ignition interlock devices are more effective in deterring drunk driving than license suspension.” This the new laws going into effect will expand on the use of these devices.

All first-time offenders will have to have an IID installed for a period of at least three months, more depending on their blood alcohol content at the time of the offense. Just as in the past, penalties increase significantly for second- and third-time offenders. To regain driving privileges, the defendant will have to have the IID installed on one vehicle they own, lease, or of which he or she is the principal operator. During the period in which a defendant must have an IID installed, he or she may not operate any vehicle that is not equipped with an IID. A defendant with an IID must periodically bring the IID in for monitoring and maintenance.

Another significant change to New Jersey DWI Sentencing is for first-time offenders with lower blood alcohol levels is that the period of license suspension is indefinite – driving privileges may be reinstated as soon as an IID is installed. Thus, a first-time offender may be able to mitigate his or her loss of driving privileges through prompt compliance with the IID requirements.

These upcoming changes to New Jersey DWI Sentencing, and DWI defense as a whole, make for a complex field to navigate. If you or someone you know is facing a charge of driving while under the influence, contact the firm of Barry, Corrado, Grassi & Gillin-Schwartz, P.C. today for a consultation.