Madd Supports All-offender Ignition Interlock Law In New Jersey

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) showed their support for ignition interlocks in New Jersey last week when they testified before the Assembly Appropriations Committee. MADD has always been a big proponent of the ignition interlock device for all convicted drinking drivers including first offenders, and more and more states are passing legislation requiring these devices.

If you take a look at MADD’s compilation of drunk driving statistics, you’ll see how ignition interlocks have reduced drunk driving fatalities across the USA. Because the average driver will have driven drunk at least 80 times before they’re arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and drinking drivers are more likely to drive with a suspended license, the ignition interlock device is the best option for keeping them from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

In supporting New Jersey’s all offender ignition interlock legislation, MADD also cites statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that shows ignition interlocks reduce the likelihood that first drunk driving offenders will receive a second conviction by up to 67%. With an ignition interlock device, the DUI offenders are also able to maintain their status as productive members of society as they can keep their jobs and attend school or doctor’s appointments.

Current New Jersey DUI laws include ignition interlock devices for all offenders, but only if the offender has a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .15 or greater. If the New Jersey legislature passes the MADD supported bill A 1368, first time offenders would be required to use the device for 3 to 12 months if they were convicted with a blood alcohol level of .08 to .14. The bill also leaves the option open for the judge to decide if a license suspension is the best course of action for the specific offender.

There are currently 23 states with all-offender ignition interlock laws. Time will tell if New Jersey signs on for the new law, but if they do, they’ll join in with states like Oregon and Arizona who have seen an almost 50% reduction of DUI fatalities on their roads.

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