Gov. Vetoes DWI Interlock Bill and Proposes Stricter Penalties
Draegar Interlock Yesterday Governor Christie conditionally vetoed legislation that would have repealed the mandatory suspension of driver's licenses for some first-time drunk drivers and instead required the installation of an ignition interlock device. An ignition interlock device requires the operator of a motor vehicle to give a breath sample prior to starting the car. If the device detects alcohol the car will not start. In his press release the governor said, The Governor's approach embraces license suspension as an effective deterrent, while recognizing the use of ignition interlock devices as an important protection against repeat offenses. Governor Christie's recommendations include strengthening New Jersey's DUI laws with stiffer penalties for DUI offenses, by increasing utilization of ignition interlock devices for all offenses and continuing mandatory license suspensions. Our governor proposed no reduction in mandatory licence suspension and an increase in the potential time that an ignition interlock device can be installed on a car that is owned or operated by somebody convicted of DWI. You can review the current DUI penalties here. The governors proposed changes to the current statute would require the implementation of an interlock device for all convicted offenders. Below is a list of ignition interlock device sentence changes that were proposed by the Gov.:
- 1st offense, .08- .10 BAC; installation of an interlock device for 3-6 months after drivers license suspension.
- 1st offense, .11- .15 BAC; installation of an interlock device for 6-12 months after drivers license suspension.
- 1st offense, .16 or greater; installation of an interlock device for 12-18 months after drivers license suspension.
- 2nd or subsequent offense; installation of an interlock device for 18 month to 4 years after drivers license suspension.
The vetoed bill would have suspended first-time offenders driving privileges for 10 days. During that time they could have the ignition interlock device installed in the car and provide proof of insulation and then have their driving privilege restored. The bill, if passed, would have permitted a first-time offender continue to drive and presumably continue to work. Many people in New Jersey rely on their driving privilege to get them to and from work every day. States like Pennsylvania have occupational limited licences which allow certain first-time offenders to drive but only for work and school. With the governor's veto of the bill, it is unlikely that first-time offenders will be able to keep their driving privileges while serving their sentence. If you or a loved one needs representation in any New Jersey Municipal Court, do not hesitate to contact the municipal court defense lawyers at DeMichele & DeMichele today. We are here to defend the charges against you. Contact us now for your confidential and free initial consultation. You can also reach us by telephone at (856) 546-1350. Don't just plead guilty and risk your driving privilege or driving record.