The president of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety group recently urged New Jersey Gov. Philip Murphy to sign Senate Bill 824 into law. This bill would require ignition interlock devices to be installed in the vehicles of all convicted drunk drivers in the state – no exceptions. Not even first-time offenders would be allowed to drive without an ignition interlock device. If it is signed into law, New Jersey will join 33 other states with similar laws across the country.
Current New Jersey law only requires ignition interlock devices to be installed on the vehicles of repeat offenders, first-time offenders with a BAC of 0.15 or higher, and refusals.
New Jersey Drunk Drivers Are Deadly
Drunk driving is deadly, and in New Jersey, 192 people lost their lives to alcohol-related crashes in 2017 alone. Drunk drivers accounted for 32% of all traffic fatalities in the state that year. Of those crashes, 79% involved a drunk driver with a BAC of 0.08 or higher. In addition to the loss of life, these crashes cost the state over $12.8 billion each year.
For these reasons alone, there is a sense of urgency to combat drunk driving across the state. Safety advocates believe that the best way to get this done is to pass an all-offender ignition interlock device law.
Why? The Federal Bureau of Investigation found that there are more than 300,000 instances of drunk driving every day in the United States. However, just 4,000 people are arrested. That means that the majority of drunk drivers are repeat offenders who’ve managed to avoid getting caught.
While the current law requires convicted drunk drivers to have their licenses suspended, this has done little to stop the trend of drunk driving. A 2012 AAA report uncovered that up to 75% of all convicted drunk drivers continued to drive impaired even after their licenses were suspended.
Do Ignition Interlock Devices Work?
When an ignition interlock device is installed, the device requires drivers to blow into a car-mounted breathalyzer before starting the vehicle and at random intervals while driving. Drivers are not able to start the car without providing a clean breath sample.
When polled, 82% of drunk drivers believed that the ignition interlock device was effective in preventing them from driving drunk. Furthermore, the CDC found that when ignition interlock devices are installed, drunk driving arrest rates drop by 70%.
Have You Been Injured in a New Jersey Drunk Driving Accident?
If you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving accident, it is important to know that the law is on your side. Drunk drivers should be held accountable for their actions and the injuries they’ve caused.
To learn more about your legal rights, call the Vineland, New Jersey car accident attorneys at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. today for a free initial consultation and review of your potential case. Contact us at (856) 502-1655 or fill out our confidential contact form. Our office is conveniently located in Vineland, New Jersey, and we are ready to help you through this difficult time. Call today!