I recently pled guilty to DWI In NJ based upon my breath test reading of .18….

As part of my sentence, the Judge ordered that I must install an interlock device on my car for a period of 1 year once I get my license back. Knowing I was going to lose my license, I sold my car. If I no longer own a car, am I still subject to the interlock requirement?

he Ignition Interlock device provision in the DWI statute pertains to most individuals convicted of DWIs and all individuals convicted of Refusal in New Jersey. More specifically, it pertains to “the motor vehicle principally operated by the offender.” Therefore, an individual who does not own or lease a motor vehicle and is subject to the Ignition Interlock penalties must demonstrate to the motor vehicle commission that they do not have available to them a motor vehicle that they principally operate.

Regardless, an individual subject to the Ignition Interlock device cannot operate any motor vehicle that is not so equipped during the proscribed period. Otherwise, they can be charged with a disorderly persons offense if they are found to be operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device and would be subject to an additional one year loss of license.

There is an open question as to whether the one year Ignition Interlock device penalty would pertain to such an individual once they did have a motor vehicle that was principally operated by them. In other words, such an individual would have a continuing duty to disclose to the MVC once their present circumstance of not having a motor vehicle to principally operate should change. The bottom line is that an individual is not going to defeat the Ignition Interlock device requirement unless they permanently decline to drive in the State of New Jersey.

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