NJ Assembly Oks Bill To Replace Long License Suspension For Convicted Drunk Drivers
In New Jersey, a large number of individuals convicted of drunk driving could soon avoid a three-month suspension of their driver’s license, if a bill that passed the full Assembly becomes law and is implemented.
State’s current mandatory driver license suspension of 3 to 7 months for a first-time offender comess to an end due to the bill. Now the offenders’ licenses will be suspended for 10 days while they install ignition interlock devices on their motor vehicles.
Ignition interlock is a device that can prevent a motor vehicle’s engine from starting if it determines the driver is drunk by a breath test. They’re already required for individuals who are convicted of their second or third drunk-driving offenses, but not for first-time offenders.
Organizations in which Mothers Against Drunk Driving is also included and others who are in favor of the bill said that requiring installation of the device does a better job of keeping drivers driving under the influence of an intoxicant off the road than suspending their driver’s licenses does.
Assemblywoman Linda Stender, D-Union, one of the sponsors, said on the Assembly floor. “The statistics are showing that there is a dramatic reduction in loss of life when these devices are, in fact, used”.
The measure passed 46-15, with 14 abstentions and now awaits a Senate committee vote but before the vote, Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said he was concerned about whether removing the three-month driver’s license suspension will harm the law’s deterrent effect. According to him, “I would want the message to be clear to those who are behind a wheel: You will lose your license, and you will lose it for a substantial period of time”.
The law will be applied to first-time offenders who are found with a BAC level between 0.08 and 0.10%. The ignition interlock device has to remain in the offender’s vehicle for three months.
News Source: www.NorthJersey.com