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All Press Releases for February 21, 2014 »
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Proposed New Jersey interlock law aims to prevent, rather than punish

Currently, New Jersey law requires the installation of an IID for up to a year for people with a first-time DWI only if their blood alcohol content exceeds .15.
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    February 21, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Proposed New Jersey interlock law aims to prevent, rather than punish

New Jersey is known for having strict DWI laws, meant to protect people from being hurt and also to prevent drivers found guilty from drinking and driving again. While drunk driving laws are necessary, it can be difficult for someone who has multiple convictions to recover from such a mistake. There is a bill currently being considered in our state's legislature that would focus more on preventing repeat drunk drivers, rather than strongly punishing those who are convicted.

Currently, New Jersey law requires the installation of an ignition interlock device for up to a year for people with a first-time DWI only if their blood alcohol content exceeds .15 percent - or at a judge's discretion, according to the state's Motor Vehicle Commission. says the new bill would mandate ignition interlock devices for everyone convicted of a DWI, whether it was their first offense or if they had prior arrests. Instead of losing their driver's licenses for several months, drunk drivers would instead face a 10-day suspension while having the ignition interlock device installed.

Supporters of the proposed law say that it encourages drunk drivers to make better decisions about getting behind the wheel, without needing to resort to harsh punishments. This might benefit the driver; rather than facing a driver's license suspension and losing driving privileges, he or she will still be able to drive to and from a job. It can also keep others on the road safe. MADD supports legislation in every state that requires the installation of interlock devices for everyone convicted of a DWI.

Ignition interlock laws may benefit underage drinkers, giving them a chance to learn from their mistakes and not lose the privilege to drive. The Lacey Patch reported on a recent incident in which a 19-year-old man was charged with DWI, underage consumption of alcohol, reckless driving, violating the terms of his license and speeding. If he is found guilty, says the state Department of Law & Public Safety, underage drinking laws state he may face the loss of his driver's license for up to 90 days, as well as be required to perform up to days of community service and participate in an alcohol and traffic safety class.

Contacting an attorney

It's yet unknown whether such a law, if passed, will have a positive effect on getting underage drinkers and first-time offenders to make smarter choices about drinking and driving later. However, it's possible that some of the more severe consequences of a DWI can be avoided. Anyone who is facing a drunk driving charge should contact an experienced drunk driving defense attorney, since it's important to ensure fair representation in court.

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