Study Finds Ignition Interlocks Reduce Drunk Driving Deaths

wineIf you have been charged with a DWI, you need to contact a skilled New Jersey DWI attorney as soon as possible. A DWI conviction can have serious and long-term detrimental consequences for almost every aspect of your life. With meticulous attention to detail, we can offer strong representation against DWI charges.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released a study that reveals interlocking systems prevent drunk driving in all types of drivers. In other words, laws under which impaired driving offenders are required to install alcohol interlocks in their vehicles have reduced the number of drunk drivers across the country by 16 percent.

Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In 2016, about 10,500 individuals were killed in drunk driving crashes. In New Jersey, the basic offense of a DWI consists of driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. You should be aware that a DWI charge is not just limited to alcohol. Any drugs – prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal – that impair a person’s ability to drive safely can form the basis of a DWI. A DWI conviction can subject you to serious penalties, including fines, fees, license suspension, ignition interlock device, community service, and even jail time.

An ignition interlock system measures a person’s BAC. It is a handheld device that is connected to the ignition system of a car. For a person to start the vehicle, the driver must blow into the device, and the car will only turn on if the person’s s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below a certain level, generally between 0.02 and 0.04 percent.

According to the IIHS report, the number of impaired drivers in fatal crashes falls 3 percent when states require interlocks for repeat offenders only, 8 percent when states require interlocks for repeat offenders and first offenders with high BACs, and 16 percent when states require interlocks for all DWI offenders, including first offenders. The study provides support for the Mothers Against Drunk Driving campaign to expand the use of ignition interlocks across the country.

Forty-five states require interlocks for at least certain impaired driving offenders. A number of these states have some type of interlock requirement that applies to first-time offenders. Under New Jersey law, first-time DWI offenders are not required to install ignition interlock devices as long as the offending driver’s BAC was under 0.15 percent. Typically, the judge has discretion whether or not to order the installation of the interlock device throughout the time in which the driver’s license is suspended, and even for six to 12 months after the reinstatement of the license. If a person’s BAC is 0.15 or higher, however, interlock ignition is mandatory. In addition, for second, third, and any subsequent DWIs, ignition interlock installation is obligatory regardless of the BAC.

If you have been arrested for a DWI, you may be feeling scared and overwhelmed. Our skilled New Jersey DWI attorneys can help you whether it is your first DWI or whether it is a subsequent offense. We have substantial experience in defending people against DWI charges by examining the situation in great detail. For more about your legal rights and options, call us at 877-450-8301 or reach out to us online.

More Blog Posts:

New Jersey DWI and Leaving the Scene of an Accident

New Jersey Woman Charged with DWI After Driving onto Train Tracks