New Jersey DUI Attorney Discusses Proposed Breath Test Law Affecting Convicted Drunk Drivers
The Assembly Judiciary Committee of New Jersey has recently approved legislation that would significantly alter driving-while-intoxicated laws. The proposed bill A3835 calls for an ignition-locking device to be installed in the vehicles of all first-time offenders convicted of drunk driving. These devices are attached to the steering column and will not allow the car to start if it detects alcohol on the individual’s breath. Current NJ law only requires repeat offenders with a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit to install one of these breathalyzer-like devices.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other supporters believe that this new penalty would actually benefit the lives of drunken drivers by forcing them to adopt new habits while limiting the restrictions that current laws place on their daily lives. Despite the measure being unanimously accepted by the NJ assembly, opponents of the bill believe that the measure needs work in order to be put into effect.
If the bill is made law, all convicted drunk drivers will receive a ten-day license suspension in which they are to install the interlocking devices on their steering wheel. In order to start their car, individuals are required to blow into a tube comparable to a breathalyzer. If the individual’s breath is detected to have a blood-alcohol level of .04 or more, the vehicle will not start. The duration in which the device must stay in place is based on an individual’s blood-alcohol level at the time of conviction as well as their record of previous offenses.
Under current law, convicted individuals are faced with a sustained period of driver’s license suspension. These devices will be able to substitute the suspension entirely or partially, giving individuals the freedom to use their vehicles responsibly in order to maintain a normal life.
Critics believe that the law would weaken penalties of drunk driving overall due to the device’s limitations. For one, the device is only required to be installed in the violator’s primary vehicle and it won’t prevent a drunk driver from gaining access to another car. Workarounds like this will allow the drunk driver to be a potential threat to the public. I
In addition, individuals convicted of driving under the influence of non-alcoholic substances would also be subject to this new law. Since the ignition interlock devices cannot detect these substances, these individuals receive little punishment and pose a large risk by being allowed to continue to drive.
Another problem is that installation of the device is not monitored by the courts and relies on random enforcement in order to ensure that they are effectively working.
Although the bill faces opposition, all of the 20 states that follow similar legislation requiring interlocking devices have seen a dramatic decline in alcohol-related deaths.
New Jersey DWI Lawyer Michele Finizio Can Answer Your Questions & Fight for Your Rights in NJ DUI Cases
The penalties of driving under the influence in New Jersey can be quite severe and impact your life for many years. It is crucial that you hire an experienced DWI attorney to evaluate your case and determine the best possible action. New Jersey criminal defense attorney, Michele Finizio, Esq. understands New Jersey’s drunk driving laws and is well-respected throughout the courts of South Jersey. She can answer your questions and provide an aggressive defense to your drunk driving charges. If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence, trust lawyer Michele Finizio to handle your case with experience and care. Call her law offices at 856-242-7300 or contact her online.