MADD Urges Lawmakers To Stop Drunken Driving In New Jersey
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is forcing the New Jersey lawmakers to struggle hard to save lives on New Jersey’s road ways.
Assemblywoman Linda Stender introduced an assembly Bill 1368, which requires the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunken drivers for a time period of at least 3 months; (A 1368/S 385) is MADD’s top legislative priority in New Jersey. S 385 is pending in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and A 1368 passed the Assembly on 26th of June.
Use of ignition interlocks for all DUI offenders is a great method to decrease DUI. Highly incentivizing interlocks for all convicted drunken drivers decreases drunken driving by 67% said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
22 states require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunken drivers in which all first-time offenders are included. The legislation was sent to the governor by the New Hampshire lawmakers making the state the 23rd state to implement a law like this.
Ignition interlocks are necessary for all repeat and first-time convicted drunken drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15% or more, in New Jersey.
Under A 1368, a first-time convicted drunken driver with a BAC of .08 to .14 percent will be needed to use an ignition interlock for a time period of 3 to 12 months unless a judge says that aggravating factors show that a license suspension will be better. The 3rd and the last time of the interlock must be violation free or the offender will have their time on the interlock extended. These provisions within A 1368 will assist change the system and give knowledge for sober driving to convicted drunken drivers and permit the interlocked offenders to keep their jobs, keep providing for their family, and at the same time, keep the public safe on the roadways.
First-time offenders are not commonly 1st time drunken drivers. According to an estimate, a first-time convicted DUI offender has driven drunk at least 80 times before being taken into custody.
A 1368 will save lives of individuals in New Jersey as similar laws have in other states saved lives. In 2005, since New Mexico’s interlock law was implemented, drunken driving related deaths have decreased by 38%. In 2007, since Arizona and Louisiana implemented their interlock law, drunken driving related deaths have decreased by 43 and 35%. As a result of 2008 interlock law, DUI deaths decreased by 42% in Oregon.
A 1368 is supported by MADD due to the reason that a research shows that 50 to 75% of convicted drunken drivers will continue to drive motor vehicles even with a suspended driver’s license. License suspension alone is not a powerful method to deal with drunken drivers. Ignition interlocks permit a convicted drunken driver to continue driving a motor vehicle on the road but in a way that will protect families and other motorists driving there.
Convicted drunk drivers pay for the ignition interlocks devices. Under current law, offenders unable to pay for an interlock will have the device provided at a lesser cost because it is costly.
This legislation will be taken up when the session begins in fall.
News Source: www.NorthJersey.com