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Despite government efforts, drunk driving is still too common

Drivers in New Jersey who get behind the wheel after they have been drinking put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk. While the number of fatal accidents attributed to drunk drivers has shrunk over the last several decades, statistics have shown that alcohol is still a factor in roughly 30 percent of deadly crashes, reports the Washington Post. Since that number has remained steady for some time, some argue that there is vast room for improvement when it comes to how drunk drivers are punished.

In 2014, more than 1 million Americans were arrested for driving under the influence. However, given the fact that a person will likely drive drunk approximately 80 times before they are busted, that number is not actually as impressive as it may seem. One way to combat the rampant drunk driving that is occurring is through the use of technology. Some auto manufacturers are researching ways for a vehicle to automatically detect whether drivers have been drinking and prevent the car from starting if they have.

Until such technology becomes commonplace, however, most experts agree that more widespread use of ignition interlock devices is the way to go. While every state has some kind of law regarding use of these devices, the circumstances under which they are required vary. Mothers Against Drunk Driving advocates for use of ignition interlocks for all first-time offenders.

Currently in New Jersey, ignition interlocks are only required for offenders who register a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher or for repeat offenders. According to New Jersey 101.5, there is a bill before the state legislature that would make the devices mandatory for any driver convicted of DUI. In exchange for that requirement, however, the length of time an offender’s license is suspended would be shortened. A similar bill was proposed in the past but was ultimately vetoed for being too lenient.

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