Do Ignition Interlock Devices Prevent Drunk Driving in New Jersey?

Drunk driving crashes are commonplace here in New Jersey. It is clearly in the public’s interest to find ways to prevent drunk driving from injuring or killing people. Many states, including New Jersey, do this by requiring DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices.

These devices require drivers to provide a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading before starting their vehicles. If an ignition interlock detects alcohol, the vehicle will not start.

In New Jersey, a first-time DUI offender may not be required to use an ignition interlock device. It would depend on the factors of the arrest and the decision of the judge. Drivers with a BAC of .15 or greater, or who refuse roadside testing, may be required to use an ignition interlock device.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving claims ignition interlock devices have kept 39,000 drunk drivers off New Jersey roads since 2010. The Centers for Disease Control claims ignition interlocks lead to a 70 percent decrease in re-arrest rates for drunk driving.

Ignition interlocks can prevent drunk driving crashes, but not all states use these devices to their full potential. Some people believe New Jersey needs to improve its ignition interlock law.

Is New Jersey’s Ignition Interlock Law Too Lenient?

Critics of New Jersey’s ignition interlock law claim it is too lenient, and that more would-be drunk drivers could be kept off our roads if all DUI offenders were required to use these devices. The New Jersey 217th Legislature is proposing to tackle these criticisms with the creation of Senate Bill 2447. If the bill passes and is signed into law, it would require all DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices.

The New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Keefe Law Firm have the experience and passion needed to help victims and families harmed by drunk drivers.

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