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Home / Blog / New Jersey Has a New Drunk Driving Law in Effect

Ignition interlock devices are here to stay. Even if it’s your first offense, New Jersey’s new law requires you to have the device installed in your vehicle.

Ignition interlock devices are designed to prevent your engine from turning over if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is .05% or more. The state’s legal limit to operate a passenger vehicle is .08%. The device requires the driver to blow into the breathalyzer before the car is given permission to start up. If you blow over a .05%, your car is staying put.

Those drivers who only received a license suspension for their efforts will escape being required to install the ignition interlock device provided they blew below a .15% BAC, but they should take it as a stern warning. If they get caught again, it’s unlikely they’ll be so lucky. If they cause an accident with injuries while DUI, they may even be sentence to jail time. Suspensions may be falling out of favor, however.

In 2017, there were 10,874 people who died as a result of drunk driving accidents in the United States. Of these fatalities, 68% of drivers had a BAC of .08% or higher.

The ignition interlock law is mostly a win-win

When a driver is suspended for DUI, he or she has no ability to support himself or herself or a family if working outside the home. It means taking a chance and driving illegally with the hope of not being caught. This also means access to a moving vehicle with no oversight if the driver chooses to drink and get behind the wheel again. It’s counterintuitive and dangerous for other drivers on the road. Convictions under a first offense will guarantee the ignition interlock device is installed while allowing the individual the ability to get to work, provided he or she is sober.

Drunk drivers don’t get injured nearly as easily – or severely – as sober drivers because their bodies are in a more relaxed state and just move with the vehicle. Sober drivers understandably tense up as they fight against the vehicle to try to maintain control during an accident. Injuries that victims of DUI experience include:

  • Lacerations
  • Bruises
  • Pulled or strained ligaments
  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Punctured organs
  • Crushed limbs
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns

If you are hit by a drunk driver, you have the right to make a claim for compensation. The New Jersey car accident attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP want to help you hold the person who negligently hurt you or your loved one accountable. To speak with a member of our legal team who is determined to fight for you, schedule your free consultation in our Edison, Toms River, or Red Bank office by calling 732-777-0100, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page.

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