Proposed Changes to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law

Major Changes Proposed to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law  

Submitted by NJ DWI Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

Senate Bill 2427 introduced on January 8, 2013 would require all drunk driving offenders to install an ignition interlock devicein any motor vehicle that he or she owns, leases, or primarily operates for a set duration. If the drunk driving offender does not have access to a motor vehicle then he or she would lose their driving privileges for the set duration.

Proposed Changes for DWI Conviction – First Time Offenders

          Specifically, the bill would require a first time offenders to install a ignition interlock device in their vehicle for three to six months if they were found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than .08% but less than .10%. If the first time offender’s BAC is greater than .10% then the device would have to be installed in their vehicle for seven months to one year. A second time drunk driving offender would have to install the device for two to four years. A third or subsequent offender would be required to have the device installed for ten to twenty years.

Proposed Changesfor DWI Conviction – Second and Subsequent Time Offenders

          The bill would drastically change the law for second, third and subsequent time offenders. Under current law a second time offender faces a suspension of their driving privileges for two years. The bill would increase that suspension period to two to four years. For third or subsequent time offenders, current law requires a suspension for ten years, the bill would require a suspension for ten to twenty years. The bill also changes the time a third or subsequent offender can spend in a inpatient rehabilitation program in lieu of going to jail. Under current law,  a third or subsequent offender can serve up to 90 days in a inpatient program instead of prison. The bill would allow third or subsequent offenders to serve up to 180 days in a inpatient program instead of jail time.

          Under the bill, a offender who fails to install a court ordered motor vehicle device would be charged with a disorderly person’s offense and have their driving privileges suspended for an additional year. Also, offenders who are required to have interlock device installed in their vehicle can be charged with a disorderly person’s offense and suspension of their license for an additional year if they are found to have started their vehicle by any means other than blowing into the device themselves. Also, offenders who drive someone else’s vehicle can face a disorderly and have their license suspended for an additional year.  

Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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