No one wants to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle. However, if you’ve been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), it may be the only way you can legally drive for some time.
An IID is a car breathalyzer connected to the vehicle’s ignition. Under New Jersey law, you need to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05% or less for the engine to start.
Who is required to have an IID?
In some cases, such as with a second or subsequent DUI or if a first-offense DUI involved a BAC of .15% or above, an IID is mandatory during the license suspension period and for a time afterward to legally drive. However, a judge can require an IID for a first offense regardless of the BAC reading.
If you’ve been ordered to have an IID installed, it’s beneficial to make peace with it, because you’ll have it for a while. It’s better than not being able to drive or risking being arrested yet again for driving on a suspended license. More importantly, it can save your life because you won’t be able to drive if you’re intoxicated. Don’t try to “trick” it. That’s very difficult to do and trying will make things so much worse for you.
What do you tell your family and friends?
There’s no reason to be embarrassed by an IID or to try to hide it from family and friends. It’s not meant to be a scarlet letter, but to help keep the roads safe. Trying to conceal it could break it or appear as though you’re tampering with it – either of which will cause problems and further expense.
If those close to you already know about your DUI, you can explain that this one of the steps you need to take to get your life back on track. You chose the IID rather than relying on them for transportation. Besides, with the IID, they can rest assured that you’re not driving while under the influence.
If you’re getting an IID installed, be sure that you understand the requirements and the potential consequences for not adhering to them. Your attorney can provide valuable guidance to help your IID experience go as smoothly as possible.