On January 15, 2010, New Jersey DWI and Refusal Statutes were revised by a bill sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan nicknamed “Ricci’s Law”. Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.16, this law makes it mandatory that an ignition interlock device be installed at defendant’s expense for a set period of time on all vehicles driven by the defendant under a refusal conviction, repeat DWI-conviction (second or third offenses), and for first offense DWI convictions where the blood alcohol content (BAC) level was .15% or higher (remember the legal limit is .08%). An Ignition Interlock is a device that attaches to your vehicle or vehicles which tests your BAC level. Further, if your BAC registers a .05% or higher than your vehicle will not start and is not operational. If a proper level is registered the device still requires repeated breath samples every 15 – 30 minutes while in operation.

My criminal trial team and I understand the extraneous financial expenses imposed upon defendants because of this new law. A normal DWI charge will normally costs a few thousand dollars between any possible fines, attorney fees and DMV surcharges. This new law can cost an additional $2,000.00 or more, significantly impacting middle and working class families. Additional costs will also be incurred due to maintenance, re-calibration and any scheduled appointments necessary.

Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.16 first offense DWIs convictions where the defendant had a .15% or higher BAC require the ignition interlock device to be installed throughout the term of the suspension as well as an additional six month to one year thereafter. A second DWI offense will require a mandatory installation of the ignition interlock of at least one year and up to three years in addition to the initial period of license suspension. A third DWI offense carries the same potential ignition interlock device consequences as a second offense.

My drunk driving defense team can help. Our criminal defense trial team is composed of former municipal prosecutors with over 100 years of collective legal experience representing clients throughout New Jersey. Many of our drunk driving defense lawyers are certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (“SFST”), the tests police use to make an arrest in a drunk driving (DWI) case. In fact, three (3) of our attorneys are certified instructors in SFST. Further, our criminal trial team members are also certified by Draeger Industries in the operation and maintenance of the Alcotest 7110, the breath test device used by police to measure blood alcohol content (“BAC”). These credentials combined with our experience lead to a fierce criminal defense trial team designed to combat drunk driving charges in New Jersey.

Contact my office anytime for a free initial consultation at (973)971-0030.