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Know the responsibilities of having an IID before getting it

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are important tools for helping people get back behind the wheel legally after a DWI. While having an IID in your vehicle may be embarrassing and inconvenient, it’s better than having to rely on other people for rides or risking further legal problems by driving without a valid license.

Here in New Jersey, a person may be required to have an IID for up to a year to get their driver’s license back on a restricted basis even after a first drunk driving conviction. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.15% or higher or you’re facing a second conviction, it’s mandatory and you’ll need to have it for longer. 

An IID is a breathalyzer-type tool that you blow into in order for your ignition to start and periodically while you’re driving. Your BAC must be .05% or less for your vehicle to start. If you fail (or don’t do) a “rolling test” when prompted, that’s a violation. So is failing a test when you first get in the vehicle. 

If you have an IID installed, it’s crucial to understand and follow all the requirements, like taking it in for monitoring and calibration as scheduled. It’s also important to understand how the device works so that it doesn’t report a violation when you did nothing wrong. This will only compound your legal issues.

What can trigger an IID violation?

Certainly, you should never do anything to deactivate the device. Further, never have someone else blow into it for you. Even if your child or someone else is just curious about it, don’t let them use it. Many IIDs now come with cameras. 

Some things can also cause problems with an IID that could read as a violation. These include:

  • A defective or dying battery
  • Leaving the vehicle running while you’re not in it (which could trigger a rolling test you’re not there to take)
  • Extremely cold temperatures

Of course, it’s nearly impossible to avoid that last one during a New Jersey winter. However, there are ways to protect your IID from the cold, and some are removable when the car isn’t in use.

If you’re required to have an IID installed to regain your driving privileges, learn more about the device and New Jersey’s requirements. Having legal guidance can help you complete your time with your IID successfully.