Car accidents that involve alcohol frequently result in serious injury or death in New Jersey. These accidents are preventable in that if the impaired person does not drive, a death or serious injury that could result from a drunk driving accident could not happen. A new law recently passed takes a step toward making this a reality and, in some instances, reduces the amount of time that a person’s license may be suspended.
The law recently passed in the state legislature requires the installation of a device in the driver’s car that prevents the engine from starting if alcohol is detected. It is known as an ignition interlock device (IID) and requires that the driver blow into a device before the engine will start. If the IID detects alcohol in the person’s BAC, the engine will not start.
People who are cited for a first offense will be required to have an IID installed in their vehicle for three months. The license suspension for a first offense is reduced to the amount of time required to install the device rather than the previously mandated 45 days. This will apply to first time offenders whose BAC registers between .08 and .10.
Studies have shown that the installation of devices like the IID is a very effective means to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that can result from drunk driving. It is believed that the passage of this law will make New Jersey roads safer and greatly reduce the chances of being involved in a drunk driving accident. A person facing drunk driving charges may wish to consult with a legal professional who is familiar with the new law.