New Jersey Assembly seeking to Up Penalties for Drunk Driving Parents
The New Jersey Assembly is seeking to pass a bill that would increase the penalties for parents who are involved in drunk driving incidents with children in the car.
A drunk driving charge is taken very seriously in the state of New Jersey, one that can have harsh penalties and heavy fines. The penalties and punishments for a drunk driving charge vary from case to case and will be harsher if certain factors were involved at the time of the incident, such as the BAC levels of the driver, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or the presence of a minor in the vehicle at the time of the DUI charge.
These penalties and fines for New Jersey drunk driving offenders may get even stricter if a new bill moves forward. This new bill, which has been introduced in the state Assembly, seeks to impose new penalties for parents or guardians involved in drunk driving accidents that result in the injury of minor children in the car.
The bill, which was approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety committee in late September, can result in such accidents becoming a fourth-degree crime if passed. The penalties for a fourth-degree crime could include a fine of up to $10,000 and 18 months in prison. In cases where the minor is seriously injured as a result of a drunk driving accident, the violation will become a third-degree crime and will include fines of up to $15,000 and three to five years in prison.
According to the current New Jersey DUI law, any parent or guardian who is arrested for drunk driving can be charged with disorderly persons offenses, regardless of the fact whether there was an accident or not. However, if the bill is passed, the penalties will be imposed in addition to the DUI penalties, which include significant fines and fees. Therefore, it is important for anyone involved in a drunk driving incident to seek professional advice by hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney.
Drunk Driving Penalties in New Jersey
Whether it is your first DUI offense in New Jersey or a repeat offense, you can face serious consequences, depending on the severity of the crime. In New Jersey, the allowed legal BAC limit is 0.08 percent, and BAC levels between 0.08 and 0.10 result in a jail sentence of up to 30 days, along with fines of up to $400, 12 to 48 hours in the intoxicated driver resource center and a three-month loss of driving privileges.
Higher BAC levels may lead to stricter penalties. Drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content between 0.10 and 0.15 at the time of arrest face higher fines and may also face a suspension of their driving privileges for up to 1 year. The judge may also order installation of an ignition interlock device. Drivers with BAC of 0.15 or more are required to install ignition interlock devices by law mandatorily.
The DUI penalties increase with each subsequent offense, leading to higher fines and stricter penalties. Other factors may also affect the severity of the punishments, such as if the drunk driver was passing through a school zone or school crossing. This can lead to a loss of driving privileges for 12 to 24 months as well as a fine of up to $800. The offender may also be ordered jail sentence of 60 days. Refusal to take a breath test or a chemical test can lead to a suspension of the drivers license and will also result in additional fines.
Therefore, if you or your loved one has been charged with drunk driving in New Jersey, the charge should not be taken lightly. Get in touch with a New Jersey DUI defense lawyer to help protect your rights. A criminal defense lawyer will have the DUI charges reduced or dropped completely.