New Approach To Drunken-Driving Penalties Considered By New Jersey
New Jersey lawmakers are making plans to alter the laws related to driving under the influence of alcohol to increase the use of automotive devices that don’t allow the vehicle’s engine to start before a breath sample is provided to it.
According to Assemblyman Joe Lagana, his bill will make it mandatory to install ignition interlock devices, but the chances of driver’s license suspension will be decreased. He added, “After a brief period of suspension, and the interlock device is installed, they should be able to drive and kind of go about their lives, but still face the harsh penalties, monetary penalties, and really the embarrassment of having gone through this.”
Dan Melega said that individuals who will be convicted of DUI for the 1st time will be required to install an interlock device for 6 months. The amount which the DUI convicted individuals will be required to pay to get the interlock device installed is $70 for 30 days. According to him, “There’s also a monitoring portion in there that if they’re clean, below 0.08%, which the law states for a period of two months, then they could have it removed. If they don’t, then it’s going to be extended until they do. Say, they could be in their third month and violate, then they’re going to have to have it for two more.”
The bill will be favored by Gene Mulroy with AAA Clubs of New Jersey. “This is the most effective option available for ensuring that alcohol consumption does not mix with driving for those most likely to drive drunk again,” he added.
A lawyer with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Steven Benvenisti, said that laws similar to this one are implemented in other states. They improved public safety with decreased DUI cases and deaths. He added, “We think it is a wonderful trade-off because lives immediately start being saved. Crashes immediately start being reduced. Some states are seeing a 50 percent reduction in fatalities; others are seeing 30% and 40%.”