Drivers in New Jersey should be aware that drunk driving laws have changed as of December 2019. The new law brings two significant revisions to previous DUI/DWI charges. The law removes license suspensions for first offenders while requiring all convicted drivers to install interlock breathalyzer devices on their vehicles. These devices automatically disable the vehicle if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath.
An Effective Alternative to License Suspension?
It has been questioned whether breathalyzers are effective. Interlock devices can prevent drivers from getting to work, which encourages some drivers to break the law, regardless of license suspension. Others claim interlock devices are successful, despite these claims. According to the spokesperson at Mothers Against Drunk Driving, interlock devices are extremely beneficial and save numerous lives.; they should be installed.
The New Law in Effect
Under the previous drunk driving law, first offenders with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) between 0.08 and 0.10 faced a three-month license suspension in addition to fines, fees, and attendance to a local Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. Offenders with a higher BAC lost their licenses between seven months to a year. However, suspensions cannot guarantee drivers will stay off the roads.
The new law makes it more challenging for offenders to get behind the wheel after drinking. Now, first offenders with a BAC under 0.15 can go directly to a Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) to restore their license immediately after a conviction, provided they install an interlock device for the required time.
Breathalyzers Keeping Drunk Drivers off the Road
The MVC maintains a list of approved ignition interlock vendors and installers. Drivers must obtain their own device and pay for the rental and installation. Once in place, the device prompts the driver to blow into it at random intervals. If alcohol is detected, the device gives the driver time to safely pull over and turn off the car. Every test is recorded and downloaded to be submitted to the installer every few months. Then, the data is sent to the state for review.
New Jersey joins 33 other states in mandating interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders, many states have a seen a significant reduction on fatal drunk driving accidents since implementing the devices. This is a promising sign that New Jersey roads will be safer in 2020 and the following years.
Haddonfield DUI Lawyers at Agre & St. John Protect the Rights of Clients Facing Drunk Driving Charges in New Jersey
If you have a DUI charge, it is essential to speak to a lawyer who will understand how a drunk driving charge will impact your future. Our experienced Haddonfield DUI lawyers at Agre & St. John will prepare an effective defense and help you move forward with your life. Contact us online or call us at 856-428-7797 to schedule a discreet case consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we also serve clients in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County and throughout South Jersey.