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NJ Lawmakers Consider Ignition Interlock Device Bill

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Lawmakers in Trenton are debating a bill that would force first-time drunken driving offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the states that adopted legislation requiring the ignition interlock device immediately saw the number of fatalities on the roadways go down by at least 40 percent.

Steven Benvenisti of the New Jersey chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving said the statistics speak for themselves.

"When this device is put into the vehicles of all convicted drunk drivers, rearrest rates for drunk drivers are decreased by almost 70 percent," said Benvenisti, who himself was hit and critically hurt by a repeat drunken driver when he was in college. He was unconscious for almost two weeks, hospitalized for six months and underwent 15 surgeries.

The device prevents the vehicle from starting for readings above 0.05 percent.

Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the original legislation in 2015, calling it too lenient because it would've also reduced mandatory license suspensions for first-time offenders from three months to 10 days.

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