New drunk driving laws will require ignition lock devices for all offenders

Posted: Updated:

New drunk driving laws signed by Gov. Phil Murphy will require ignition interlock devices installed in the vehicles of all offenders, along with potentially allowing first-time offenders to keep their driver’s license.

“Today with Lyfts and Ubers, there’s no reason to drink and drive,” says Aleida Marroquin, who lost her daughter in a drunk driving crash.

Jennah Disclafani and Mariah Gomez were killed when the driver of the car they were in crashed in Paramus. The driver, 23-year-old jasmine Cruz, was charged with death by auto. She pleaded guilty and is serving an eight-year sentence.

"The reality is that she destroyed multiple families. She destroyed my family. She destroyed Jenna’s family and to some extent, she also destroyed her daughter’s life,” says Marroquin.

A person convicted of drunk driving would have to blow into the devices installed in their vehicles. If their blood alcohol levels are above a certain point, the vehicle won’t start. State lawmakers say that these devices are better than just suspending someone’s license.

"I can tell you that in my experience as a prosecutor, I suspended people’s licenses left and right. And sometimes they would get in the car and drive home anyway without the license, so we weren't really stopping them,” says state Sen. Nicolas Scutari.

Disclafani and Gomez’s families say that they would like to see more done to keep repeat offenders off the roadways, along with stricter laws.

“Losing my daughter has been the most devastating thing that could've happened to me,” Marroquin says.

A judge will also have discretion when deciding on license suspension for first-time offenders under the new legislation.

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