Manchester, NH (PRWEB) June 13, 2012
Starting in July, 2012 penalties for first-time drunk drivers are about to get a lot tougher. A new law goes into effect July 1 that requires all convicted drunk drivers, even first-time offenders, to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their car before being allowed to drive again. But area lawyer John Tenn says the law may not be the victory it's been painted as.
John Tenn, a founding partner at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. Attorneys at Law, is one of a number of DUI attorneys who do not believe the new measures will make the roads safer. Previously, IIDs were only required for repeat offenders or drivers with excessively high blood alcohol levels in New Hampshire, and first-time offenders were typically given less severe sentences. Tenn states that these measures were strict enough to discourage drunk driving and questions whether tougher sentences will reduce DUI rates any further.
“People who have made a single bad choice shouldn't be treated like multiple DWI offenders.,” Tenn stated. “The penalties for drunk driving should be reasonable and proportionate to the crime. The cost of a DUI conviction is already high enough.”
Tenn also worries that IIDs are not effective in stopping drunk driving. “They are undoubtedly a deterrent,” he stated, “but like all mechanical devices, they aren’t fool proof.
The increased measures have been celebrated by activist groups including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), who say they have been pushing for the legislation for years. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that IIDs reduce the rate of repeat drunk driving. Whether the requirement will reduce DUI rates in Virginia remains to be seen. This change in the law may be setting precedence for other states to jump on board. John Tenn will be watching its progress to see whether it will be headed to New Hampshire. More information on the actual law in Virginia can be found on the Bill Tracking site for the 2012 session.
About Tenn And Tenn Attorneys at Law:
Tenn And Tenn Attorneys at Law were founded in 1995. They established a New Hampshire law firm of trial lawyers committed to providing the highest level of client service and trial advocacy. Tenn And Tenn, P.A. is a New Hampshire law firm committed to helping people and the families of those who have been injured, charged with a crime, or dealing with divorce or custody issues.