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Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers:  Governor Vetoes New Jersey Drunk Driving Bill

March 30, 2015

Last week, Governor Chris Christie rejected a bill that would affect the penalties for New Jersey drivers convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol.  The legislation would reduce the length of time a drunk driver’s license would be suspended. Currently, first time offenders face license suspension for three months but the bill would reduce suspension to ten days and require installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). The bill looked to add an IID not only to repeat offenders as current law mandates, but to first time offenders whose blood alcohol content (BAC) tested well above the limit.  More importantly, it proposed to give judges and prosecutors more leeway in doling out punishments based on individual cases and circumstances.

Christie returned the bill proposing both punishments be used for all offenders as he believes that New Jersey residents have the right to be protected from tragic car accident injuries and death caused by drunk drivers. New Jersey statistics for drunk driving accidents and fatalities have declined approximately 15% this year.  The governor believes even one additional death means more can be done.  By combining the demanding options of driver license suspensions and installing IIDs, New Jersey will increase the safety of drivers throughout the state.  Of the 542 car accident fatalities in New Jersey in 2013, over 25% were drunk driving related.

The Use of Ignition Interlock Devices to Reduce Drunk Driving Accidents

In a press release, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) indicates that they are happy that the Governor supports the use of IIDs for all convicted drunk drivers.  This device is a breathalyzer that a driver must blow into to start the car.  If alcohol is detected by the device, the car will not start.  Current drunk driving laws in New Jersey mandate that those with a BAC of 0.15 or greater, or repeat offenders, must have the device installed in their vehicles. These two factors determine the amount of time an IID must remain in the vehicle.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Nicolas Scutari, Democrat, believes that Christie’s proposed changes to the bill defeat the intention to give judges and prosecutors judicial discretion for imposing penalties.  As the bill stands, New Jersey does not permit convicted offenders to drive to work, hence New Jersey drunk driving offenders could lose their jobs. Assemblyman Joe Lagana, Democrat, is in favor of immediate installation of an IID so offenders are not given the opportunity to drive on a suspended license, possibly injuring others in a future fatal car accident.

Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Get Compensation for Individuals Injured in New Jersey Drunk Driving Accidents

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident involving a drunk driver, our experienced Cherry Hill personal injury lawyers will get you the compensation you deserve. Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law work diligently to get justice for victims of drunk driving accidents in New Jersey.  With offices conveniently located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and in Center City, Philadelphia we serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey including those in Camden County and Cherry Hill. Call us at 1-800-FOR-LESS  or complete our online contact form to schedule your confidential consultation today. We offer our clients a lower contingency fee rate than many other Camden County personal injury lawyers.

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