NJ Lawmakers OK Expanded Use of Ignition Interlock Devices

On February 5th the New Jersey Senate gave final legislative approval to a bill that would give some convicted drunken drivers the option of having ignition interlock devices installed in their cars as an alternative to license revocation. State law now requires installation of the devices for repeat offenders and first-time offenders with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of .15 or greater.

The measure passed by the legislature would expand the devices’ availability to all drunken drivers, with the mandated length of time to be based on the number of offenses and the blood-alcohol content underlying them. The penalties would vary depending on if it was your first, second, third or subsequent DWI.

The interlock device detects alcohol in a driver attempting to start his or her car. Drivers must blow into the machine to begin driving, then again five to 10 minutes after the engine has started, and again in intervals of every 20 to 40 minutes thereafter.

The bill requires that in cases where there is more than one car available to a convicted drunken driver, the driver will have to designate one car that he or she drives. A drunken driver who is caught using a car not equipped with an interlock device can have his license suspended and lose the right to use the device.

The bottom line is – Don’t Drink and Drive.

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