Poll: Should New Jersey Criminalize Drunk Driving?
New Jersey has few controls to ensure accused drunken drivers don’t commit additional violations while awaiting their court appearances.
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, local authorities will be on the lookout for drunken driving. As many of our police stories have noted, there has been no shortage of infractions and incidents in the area. In some, the drivers manage to only hurt themselves, but sometimes they hurt others.
Unlike surrounding states—such as New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania— where drunken driving is a criminal offense, New Jersey categorizes driving under the influence as a motor vehicle violation.
According to a report by the Press of Atlantic City, the way the law currently stands allowed 45-year-old Vineland man, Anderson Sotomayor, who was charged with DUI on April 9 to retain his driving privileges until his scheduled court appearance of May 30.
According to the Press, Sotomayor allegedly went on four additional drunken-driving episodes—on April 11 and 25 and May 12 and May 16—before he was taken into custody on charges of illegal use of a controlled substance. The drug charge was the first criminal offense he faced that allowed authorities to impose bail and keep him from driving until his court appearance.
The possibility for repeat offenders to continue driving drunk while awaiting their court appearances is a problem local legislators are trying to address by drafting a new bill.
We want to know if you would support the legislation.