Bill to install ignition interlock devices for DUI convictions passes Assembly committee

MADD advocate Steven Benvenisti showed this photo of himself in the hospital after he was hurt in a crash caused by a drunk driver. Benvenisti testified before an Assembly Appropriations Committee to push for a bill to require the installation of ignition interlock devices for people with DUI convictions.

MADD advocate Steven Benvenisti showed this photo of himself in the hospital after he was hurt in a crash caused by a drunk driver. Benvenisti testified before an Assembly Appropriations Committee to push for a bill to require the installation of ignition interlock devices for people with DUI convictions. (1/31/17)

TRENTON - A bill designed to reduce the amount of drunken driving incidents has passed the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee.

The bill would mandate the use of ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of driving while drunk. The device prevents drunken drivers from starting the car.

An advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving testified before the committee by showing hospital photos of himself after he was struck by a drunken driver.

“I was struck by a repeat offender,” said Steven Benvenisti. “The technology was not in existence, but as an advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, we see so many crashes by repeat offenders, many that could have been avoided if this legislation were in place.”

MADD says that interlock devices are 70 percent more effective at reducing repeat drunken driving crimes than license suspensions alone.

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