How much does it Cost to Install a Breathalyzer in your Car?

Posted February 25th, 2016 by .

Categories: Criminal Defense.

Breathalyzer on car anthony carboneSome people like to have their cars equipped with the latest gadgets.  Few consider voluntarily installing a Breathalyzer in their vehicle.  What exactly is the cost of installing such a device in your car?  Can you be required to do so?

Ignition Interlock Devices

Actually a Breathalyzer is actually a brand name for a device invented by Robert F. Borkenstein. The generic name for vehicle installed Breathalyzers is ignition interlock devices (“IIDs”).  These are often mandated by the court after a conviction for driving under the influence (“DWI”).  What are ignition interlock devices and how do they work?

In plain language, an ignition interlock device is a Breathalyzer installed in the dashboard of a motor vehicle.  The device is programmed with settings in accordance with New Jersey DWI laws.  If an ignition interlock device is installed in a vehicle, the operator must blow into the device before starting the car.  If the blood alcohol reading (BAC) is in excess of the .08% legal limit, the car will not become operational.

Curious about the appearance of a car Breathalyzer?  You can take a look at some images here.  Some of the devices are even equipped with a camera to ensure the identity of the individual taking the test.

How much do Ignition Installation Devices Cost?

The State of New Jersey has an approved list of IID manufacturers.  In many cases, the units are actually leased to individuals.  Generally, the monthly rate is somewhere between $50 and $100.  There are additional fees for installation, which are reliant on the vehicle type.  These start at approximately $50 and can exceed $200.

Are Car Breathalyzers Always Mandated?

Not all individuals convicted of drunk driving will be required to install an ignition installation device.  Some of the instances that they are considered mandatory include the following:

  • After a first DWI conviction, installation of a car Breathalyzer is mandatory if the individual’s BAC was found to be in excess of .015%. Of course, the court may use its discretion to order the equipment if the blood alcohol reading is less.
  • DWI convictions come with license suspensions. Requirements for the IID do not start until after the individual’s license has been restored.  The device would need to be present from six months to one year for a first DWI conviction.
  • Car Breathalyzers must be installed in the vehicles of all those who receive second or third DWI convictions after their license is restored. The time period increases from one to three years.

Contact Us

DWI offenses carry serious penalties.  If you are accused of driving while under the influence, you need experienced legal advice.  Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone to learn how we can help you

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