There are currently 23 states that require ignition interlock devices installed in vehicles of first time convicted drunk drivers. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in conjunction with state Assemblywoman Linda Stender, is hoping to make New Jersey the 24th state to do so.
Stender introduced Bill 1368, requiring the use of ignition interlocks for at least three months following an individual’s first DUI conviction, for blood alcohol contents ranging from .08 to .14. Currently, the state requires the devices to be installed for repeat and first time offenders when the BAC is at .15 or higher, or for anyone who refuses to submit to a Breathalyzer test. The bill passed through Assembly on June 26th.
Based on findings by the Center for Disease Control, interlocking ignition devices are seemingly quite effective at reducing DUI recidivism. The CDC calculates that recidivism is reduced by 67 percent. The hope is that stronger laws mandating ignition interlocking devices will help save lives, as the law has in other states.
The CDC has also found that simply suspending an offender’s license is not an effective way to deter drunk driving. The agency found that anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of convicted drivers will continue to operate vehicles even with a suspended license. Even further, it found that a first time convicted DUI offender has actually driven drunk as many as 80 times previously, without being caught.
In New Mexico, interlock device laws were implemented in 2005. Since then, drunken driving fatalities are down by 38 percent according to NJ.com. Drunk driving deaths also plummeted in Arizona, Louisiana and Oregon. In 2012, there were 164 people killed by drunk drivers, accounting for 28 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state. These drunk driving deaths cost NJ taxpayers over $1.1 billion, according to Madd.org.
Team Law is one of the leading DUI/DWI law firms in the state of New Jersey. If you’ve been charged with a drunk driving offense, you are facing stiff fines, penalties and potential jail time. Protect yourself the best way you can by contacting the knowledgeable DUI/DWI attorneys at Team Law today.