The New Jersey Senate overwhelmingly passed SB 385 today (29-4), joining the House of Representatives in supporting ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers.
If the governor signs SB 385/A 1368 into law, New Jersey will become the 25th state to require all convicted drunk drivers to install ignition interlocks, which prevent vehicles from operating when a driver has been drinking.
MADD is urging Gov. Chris Christie to sign the bill and help make New Jersey roadways safer for residents and travelers. No governor has ever vetoed an ignition interlock bill.
“As a MADD New Jersey volunteer, MADD National Board Member, personal injury attorney and survivor of a pedestrian crash caused by a repeat offender drunk driver, I know firsthand the devastation that can be caused by a repeat offender drunk driver,” said Steven Benvenisti, who suffered life-threatening injuries as a student at the College of New Jersey. “Too many people die every year in New Jersey due to drunk driving. This law has proven to save lives in other states and it is long overdue in New Jersey. I have no doubt that once this law is enacted, we will immediately see a reduction in drunk driving fatalities in our state.”
In 2013, 146 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes on New Jersey roadways. States that require interlocks for all offenders have reduced drunk driving deaths by up to 45 percent, and the Centers for Disease Control reports a 67 percent decrease in repeat offenses when interlocks are used.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is celebrating its 35th anniversary by creating a future of NO MORE VICTIMSTM. MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every ten minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end drunk driving through increased law enforcement, all offender ignition interlock laws and advanced vehicle technology. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, using Power of Parents®’ proven approach to reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting MADD’s new website at madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.