The New Jersey State Legislature Passes Bill Promoting Use of Ignition Interlock Devices

Last week the New Jersey State Legislature passed a Senate Bill which mandates that all DWI offenders must use interlock devices if they wish to drive.

Online PR News – 01-July-2019 – Berlin Township, NJ – Last week the New Jersey State Legislature passed Senate Bill 824 Sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scaturi D-Union which mandates that all DWI offenders must use interlock devices if they wish to drive. The state Assembly and Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill, a sign that voters and lawmakers are serious about cracking down on drunk driving offenses in the state. Judges in the state have already been requiring the usage of interlock devices at higher rates than ever. The devices are effective at limiting instances of drunk driving, and more devices are expected to lower the number of drunk driving cases.
Interlock Devices an Effective Deterrent
State authorities reported that in 2018, interlock devices prevented more than 13,500 drivers from driving their cars under the influence of alcohol. Even though many assume previous penalties, which included fines, license suspension, and even prison time, were a sufficient deterrent to drunk driving, repeat offenses are very common. The benefit of keeping drunk drivers off the road is increased public safety. It also helps offenders from repeated DWI convictions, which could affect future employment and their civil rights. The passage of the new Bill makes interlock devices a requirement for any offender arrested for driving under the influence. The bill now goes to Governor Murphy to sign before it officially becomes law.
How Interlock Ignition Devices Operate
Interlock devices are a basic but effective solution to prevent repeat offenders. Drivers are required to breathe into an electronic breathalyzer connected to the vehicle ignition. If the sensor detects the presence of alcohol, the car will not start. Breath alcohol level tests are required for each startup, and people sentenced to have an interlock device installed are typically required to meet regularly with authorities to monitor test results.
Implications of the New Bill
Under the new bill's requirements, any first-time offender convicted of driving with a blood alcohol limit of over 0.08 to 0.10 percent will be required to use an interlock device for three months. First-time offenders with blood alcohol levels higher than 0.10 percent will have them installed for up to twelve months. First-time offenders who test above 0.15 percent will have their license suspended for up to six months, and an interlock device will then be installed for up to 15 months. Second and subsequent offenders receive a license suspension and must serve two to four years with an interlock. The hope is that the new law will allow first-time low BAC offenders continued use of their cars to get to work and handle their affairs, but also prevent them from operating their car after drinking. It's another step in helping secure the roads and prevent drunk driving accidents and deaths.