New DWI Bill¬
Published by New Jersey DWI Lawyer, ,Jeffrey Hark.
On June 7, 2012, Assemblymen Albano, Milam, Amodeo, Mainor, Burzichelli, and Casagrande introduced into the New Jersey State Assembly a new bill which, if passed, would criminalize repeated DWI offenses within a certain time period. Should the new law pass, any person convicted of a second Driving While Intoxicated or refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test violation (a violation of either N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 or 39:4-50.4a) within sixty days of a first such violation shall, in addition to the normal penalties for those convictions, be presumptively guilty of a crime of the fourth degree; an indictable offense. Assemb. B. 3057, 215th Legislature 2:8-13 (NJ 2012). The bill would also require law enforcement personnel to input any summons for DWI into the appropriate record system within three hours of the end of their shift. Id. at 2:15-19.
In addition to introducing the new fourth degree crime, the bill also sets certain standards regarding the effects of a charge for that crime. In every case where a person is charged with this new crime, the court may require the posting of bail up to $10,000. Id. at 2:21-25. Also, during the bail hearing for those charged with this new crime, the court will be required to suspend any “license certificate or any nonresident reciprocity privilege to operate any motor vehicle or motorized bicycle held by the individual charged.” Id. at 2:26-31. The bill would also require the court at the bail hearing to issue a temporary order prohibiting the defendant from obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle or bicycle in New Jersey. Id. at 2:31-33. The bill, if passed, would take effect immediately. Id. at 2:35.
In their introductory statement, the sponsors of the bill noted the effect the bill would have upon the amount of bail that may be enforced for a crime of the fourth degree and discussed the effects of the bill, but did not elaborate on the bill’s purpose or source. Id. at 2:40-47, 3:1-30. Local reporters have noted, however, that the bill arose out of the case of Anderson Sotomayor, of Vineland, who was charged with five DWIs in thirty-eight days, including an event wherein Sotomayor crashed into a parked police vehicle. See generally New Jersey Press Media, Tougher DUI bill moves forward, COURIER POST ONLINE (June 8, 2012, 1:32 PM), http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20120608/NEWS01/306080016/Tougher-DUI-bill-moves-forward; Jim Cook, Jr., Criminalizing repeat drunken driving is aim of N.J. Assembly bill after Vineland man’s fifth DWI, NJ.COM (June 8, 2012, 1:32 PM), http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2012/06/nj_assemblymen_sponsoring_bill.html; Tougher DWI bill moves forward, THE DAILY JOURNAL (June 8, 2012, 1:32 PM), http://www.thedailyjournal.com/article/20120608/NEWS01/306080033. The bill was approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee in a 10-1 vote on Thursday, June 7, 2012. Id. The bill will now move to the full Assembly for consideration, while a sister bill awaits consideration by the New Jersey Senate Law and Public Safety committee. Id.