Important Changes to Ignition Interlock Laws in 2019

New laws from New Jersey legislative building

Last year is now in the rear-view mirror. Here are some legislative highlights from 2019 with meaningful changes to Ignition Interlock laws in several states.

Many thanks to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) for the valuable information about changes to Ignition Interlock laws. They’re a powerful voice in the efforts to save lives through drunk-driving legislation and awareness.

Here’s a quick overview of changes to Ignition Interlock laws last year.

How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Help with a DUI?

Ignition Interlock for All Offenders

New Jersey and Kentucky both passed all-offender changes to Ignition Interlock laws. The changes placed a strong emphasis on allowing first-time DUI offenders to maintain their driving privileges. The changes to DUI laws allow them to continue their everyday responsibilities without compromising highway safety.

New Jersey began requiring an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for every drunk-driving offender. The change to the DUI law, which took effect on Dec. 1, 2019, drew heavy bipartisan support. Proponents said the law allows first-time offenders to continue performing important duties while still driving safely with an Ignition Interlock Device. That includes driving to work or transporting family members.

Kentucky’s new DUI law starts on July 1, 2020. It will allow first-time offenders to retain their driving privileges by installing an Ignition Interlock Device for at least six months. That’s a powerful incentive, since that also allows the user to continue driving to work, fulfilling family duties, and so on.

Refusal to install the device will mean a nine-month driver’s license suspension. Repeat offenders, as well as first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.15, will still be required to install an IID.

Learn More About Changes to DUI Laws in New Jersey

Ignition Interlock Incentive Laws

Idaho, Oklahoma and Texas passed changes to DUI laws that incentivize first-time offenders to use an Ignition Interlock Device. They require an IID as part of any plea agreement.

According to MADD, goals in 2020 include:

  • Passing all-offender changes to Ignition Interlock laws in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
  • Also passing Ignition Interlock incentive laws in Maryland, Ohio and Wisconsin.
  • Improving Ignition Interlock incentive laws in Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The list of achievements is impressive, but there’s always more work to be done. That’s why we’re grateful for everyone who fights for meaningful changes to drunk driving laws at every level of government.

Smart Start is always ready with information about Ignition Interlock Devices. Call (800) 831-3299 for more information, or get an online quote.