Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety Push for Mandatory Ignition Interlock Devices for All DWI Offenders

DWI cases are complex and can impact virtually every aspect of your life. If you have been arrested for DWI, you need to find competent and reliable legal representation immediately. Our New Jersey drunk driving advocates have extensive experience handling and protecting the rights of clients, and we can help you obtain the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health and safety groups, insurance companies and agents working together to make roads across the country safer. The group is now urging the Governor of New Jersey to sign into law Senate Bill 824 (the “Bill”) – legislation that would require ignition interlock devices (IID) for all convicted drunk drivers. The Bill is designed to crack down on first-time offenders with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, requiring these offenders to get an interlock device for a period of at least 30 days. Currently, first-time offenders whose BAC is between 0.08 percent to 0.14 percent simply get their license suspended, which supporters of the new law say is not a harsh enough deterrent. If the Bill is signed into law, New Jersey will become the thirty-fourth state in the nation with an all-offender ignition interlock law.

Under New Jersey law, you will be charged with a DWI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. You should note that you can be prosecuted for drunk driving even if your BAC is below 0.08 percent if you were unfit to operate a motor vehicle as a result of alcohol consumption. New Jersey has a “zero-tolerance” policy for underage drivers. As such, for individuals under the age of 21, the legal limit is 0.01 percent. For those with commercial driver’s licenses, the legal limit is 0.04 percent.

Depending on whether it is your first offense or a subsequent offense, the penalties will vary. Part of the punishment may include having an IID installed on your vehicle. This device is a machine that is connected to the vehicle’s steering column and requires the driver to blow into a breathalyzer to determine BAC. If the BAC registers at 0.05 percent or higher, the vehicle will not start. As mentioned earlier, under present New Jersey law, first time DWI offenders are not required to install IIDs so long as the offending driver’s BAC was under 0.15 percent. In these cases, the judge has discretion regarding whether or not to order installation of the IID. If an individual’s BAC was 0.15 percent or higher though, then the judge must order installation of an IID. This is also true for a second, third and any subsequent DWIs.

A DWI conviction can have far reaching consequences for your life, which is why you should do everything in your power to avoid such a conviction. If you have been charged with a DWI, it is vital to contact a skilled New Jersey DWI attorney who can help you explore your legal options and build a competent defense in your case. As you may expect, the DWI penalties become more severe with each subsequent offense. At our firm, we understand the nuances of this area of law and are prepared to vigorously defend you every step of the way. For a free consultation with one of our lawyers, please call us at 877-450-8301 or contact us online today.

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