New Jersey currently requires multiple DWI offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles under certain circumstances. The ignition interlock device prevents the vehicle from operating until the motorist blows into a breath test device affixed to his or her ignition and logs a blood alcohol concentration below the legal limit of .08%. Individuals who are subject to the regulation cannot register their motor vehicle or restore their license unless the interlock is installed.
Under “Ricci’s Law”, the requirement of an ignition interlock device would also apply to someone convicted of a First Offense of DWI where their blood alcohol content is .15% or above. The law also extends the period an individual must possess an ignition interlock and grants authortity for Judges to order installation where someone has a blood alcohol concentration between .08% and .15% under special circumstances.
While I certainly appreciate the goals of the proposed law, I have heard many horror stories about ignition interlocks including cost, limited supply, over-sensitivity and malfunction. If these problems can be worked out, it may be a worthwhile effort to combat those who simply do not have the ability to resist putting their keys in the ignition after they have been drinking.