Heavy Machinery and Habitual Drunk Driving Don’t Mix

Heavy machinery and habitual drunk drivingHabitual drunk driving isn’t new. All states have laws that ensure a habitual drunk driver has strict consequences for their actions, including an ignition interlock device. In many cases, that device and the high court costs, jail time and other penalties are enough to break the habit. Other times, the allure of another drunken joy ride can be too much to maintain common sense, especially when there’s heavy machinery involved.

A recent New Jersey habitual drunk driver was caught after neighbors reported him erratically driving a bulldozer down the road. His habitual drunk driving isn’t just behind the wheel of construction vehicles, although he had been busted previously on a backhoe. This was the man’s ninth DWI, which means he wasn’t terribly choosy about his getaway vehicles when drinking. Hopefully, after a lengthy jail sentence, his next type of machine will be the one that prevents him from drinking and driving again: an ignition interlock device.

Habitual drunk driving incidents are considered a small portion of the total number of DWIs in the US, according to the National Institute for Health. However, if you talk to many opponents of ignition interlock legislation, they will say that habitual drunk drivers and those with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) are the offenders that need an ignition interlock device. Ignition interlocks and making multiple DWI offenses a felony are steps that agencies like MADD support in order to prevent more drunk driving tragedies on the roads.

Habitual drunk driving is still a problem across the U.S., even in states with strict DWI laws. More often than not, those states may have more problems enforcing laws than getting drunk drivers off of the streets. Obviously, an ignition interlock device cannot do its job on large vehicles like bulldozers, backhoes or forklifts. The devices can, however, ensure that the driver of most other types of vehicles is sober while driving.

New Jersey Applauded for Ignition Interlock Law

ignition interlockIgnition interlock devices reduce the rate of repeat drunk driving by a reported 67%, removing the choice to drive drunk and keeping the roads safe. According to Atlantic Highlands Herald, New Jersey’s recent ignition interlock law that focuses on all convicted DUI offenders in the state has received praise from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). This new law would require the installation of ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of any offenders, including first-time DUI offenders throughout the state. Once New Jersey signs this important legislation into law, the presence of ignition interlock devices on vehicles will assure the safety of the public. Read more here: MADD Applauds Ignition Interlocks Legislation for Drunk Drivers

New Jersey Resident Calls for Ignition Interlock Law

new jersey ignition interlock21 states in the U.S. currently have ignition interlock laws for first-time DUI/DWI offenders, keeping the streets from repeat offenders who have already proven bad judgment when it comes to driving drunk. In New Jersey, however, a convicted drunk driver can still have the ability to drive, even on a suspended license, creating a need for ignition interlock laws in the state. In an editorial on NJ.com, a victim of a drunk driver explains his experience with recovering from catastrophic injuries attributed to a repeat DUI offender who struck him as he was walking down a street. If New Jersey passes ignition interlock laws for first-time offenders, the risk of an offender driving drunk on a suspended license is reduced, if not eliminated. Read more here: Ignition locking devices for drunken drivers saves lives: Letter

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