New Jersey DWI law may be undergoing a big. big change that will have a huge impact on individuals convicted of driving drunk. The act, S-2427, passed by the Senate on June 27th yet still must pass through the Assembly before it can be signed by the Governor. If it does pass into law, however, it will essentially allow drivers to continue driving with restricted driving privileges, after a conviction for Driving While Intoxicated, if the driver installs an ignition interlock device.
The Act is now referred to the Assembly Judiciary committee for review. New Jersey is the only State in the region which does not allow drivers charged with DWI with some sort of conditional driver’s license.
There does seem to be a problem with the law, however. Obviously, DWI defendants have different financial resources. The Interlock device that must be installed can be so expensive that drivers with limited resources would not be able to afford renting or purchasing the ignition interlock device. These drivers licenses will remain suspended under the old law, if a device cannot be installed.
Also of note, we have not seen any action taken on the proposal to lower the per se level of intoxication from .08% to .05% BAC.