Posted on March 31, 2015 in Personal Injury
Earlier this week, Governor Chris Christie rejected proposed legislation regarding penalties imposed on New Jersey drivers convicted of DUI offenses. The bill would have dramatically reduced the license suspension period for first-time offenders, and instead require them to install a Breathalyzer-like device that would prevent their vehicle from starting if they had been drinking.
Under the current system, New Jersey state law imposes a minimum license suspension period of three months for first time offenders convicted on DUI charges. The proposed bill would have reduced that time to ten days, with the condition that the driver install and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) that they would be required to blow into before starting their car. If the IID detects a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent or higher, the vehicle would not start.
Additionally, the bill would have expanded penalties for repeat offenders, with possible license suspension periods that are twice as long as current standards. The proposed legislation also added a requirement that the driver install the device for a period of time following reinstatement of their driving privileges for continued monitoring.
Some who support the bill argue that it would have given greater discretion to judges and prosecutors to impose penalties on offenders, allowing them to weigh aggravating and mitigating factors when doling out punishments. Others pointed out that offenders don’t always stop driving just because their license is suspended. Having an ignition interlock device on their vehicle would at least ensure that they weren’t driving drunk.
The bill, which both the Senate and State Assembly had passed in an overwhelming majority vote, was also supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the American Automobile Association (AAA.) Since 2005, similar laws have been enacted in 24 states.
Though Governor Christie says he supports the addition of interlock devices in the vehicles of all offenders, he does not support a reduction in the severity of penalties imposed on convicted drunk drivers. He noted that under the current system, the state has seen an overall decline in drunk driving fatalities over the past two decades, but added that there is always room for improvement. New Jersey currently has one of the lowest rates of drunk driving car accident fatalities in the country.
NEW JERSEY PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS PURSUE JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES
For those who have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one in a New Jersey drunk driving car accident, no fine or penalty imposed can undo the harm they have suffered because of someone else’s reckless actions. By pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, the New Jersey personal injury law firm of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy can help individuals and families seek justice and financial compensation for the losses they have incurred. We offer free consultations at any one of our three convenient locations in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey. To discuss your case with one of our compassionate and skilled New Jersey personal injury attorneys, call 800-398-7018today or contact us online.
Earlier this week, Governor Chris Christie rejected proposed legislation regarding penalties imposed on New Jersey drivers convicted of DUI offenses.