For Immediate Release: Friday August 23, 2019
Contact: Pete Daniels (202) 408-1711, (301) 442-2249 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement of Cathy Chase, President,
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety,
On Enactment of All-Offender Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
Law In New Jersey
Vital Action Taken to Combat the Epidemic of Drunk Driving
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) commends New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) for signing into law Senate Bill (S.) 824 to require the use of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) by all convicted drunk drivers, including first time offenders. The IID upgrade was advanced by the Legislature on June 21, 2019. This multiple session effort owes its success to safety leadership from sponsors Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D), Sen. Joseph Lagana (D), Asm. Joann Downey (D) and Asm. Daniel Benson (D), more than a dozen cosponsors and broad public support.
IIDs have prevented more than 87,000 drunk driving attempts in New Jersey over the past twelve years. Requiring their use by all offenders is a commonsense upgrade that will further reduce this deadly behavior on New Jersey roads.
In 2017, 192 people were needlessly killed in alcohol-involved crashes on New Jersey roads, accounting for 32 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Traffic crashes are not only harmful to those involved, they also cost New Jersey residents nearly $13 billion each year (NHTSA). Fortunately, solutions are known and readily available. IIDs are a research-proven impaired driving countermeasure that prevents drunk drivers from starting a vehicle while alcohol-impaired.
New Jersey is now the 34th state to take action to protect its families and visitors traveling on state roads by enacting an all-offender IID law. We laud New Jersey for prioritizing traffic safety and urge the remaining 16 states (CA, FL, GA, IN, MA, MI, MN, MT, NC, ND, OH, PA, SC, SD, WI, and WY) to follow and upgrade their laws to require use of IIDs by all drunk driving offenders.