State laws are implemented to protect the general public, while also defining the process offenders will go through. Changes in policies could mean harsher penalties, especially in New Jersey where they are considering the laws surrounding drunk driving and the resulting criminal and civil liabilities.
Recently, the New Jersey state Senate took a tough stance against drunk driving accidents, voting to require that ignition interlock devices be installed in the vehicles of first-time drunk drivers. The bill replaces the total suspension of a driver's license with a penalty of requiring the ignition interlock device to be installed in their car for a period of three to twelve months. The bill is an effort to combat the prevalence of drunk driving accidents, and there is data available to back up the assertion that these devices prevent DUI accidents and save lives.
Recently, the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving held an awards ceremony in Edison, New Jersey, where they honored police officers for their role in curbing incidents of drunk driving. The group gave certificates and pins to the police officers it felt did the most to stop alcohol-related accidents. Speakers at the event discussed family members lost to drunk-driving accidents and honored the officers for their efforts. MADD is also working to lower the legal blood-alcohol content limit from .08 to .05, a change recently advocated by the National Transportation Safety Board. The group also favors technology to prevent drivers from starting their cars if alcohol is detected on their breath.
Local police recently arrested a 35-year old man from Ridgewood, New Jersey, on suspicion of drunk driving after he allegedly drove his pickup truck off the road and into a fence.