Last month, a New Jersey man was charged with his fifth DUI in as many weeks. Drivers who are convicted of a DUI offense and are arrested for another DUI offense may face increased penalties. The New Jersey Legislature took special notice of last month’s arrest and have proposed a law that would stiffen DUI laws in the state.
According to ABC News, the 45-year-old was arrested after getting pulled for a traffic stop. Police pulled the man over at Park and Crystal avenues in Vineland, and the man allegedly had an open car of beer in his lap. The 45-year-old refused to take a chemical breath test, but admitted to taking oxycontin the morning of the arrest. The man was charged with illegal use of a controlled dangerous substance, DWI, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, and having an open container of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle.
The arrest occurred in the middle of May and one week earlier the man was allegedly spotted driving the wrong way on a one-way street, hitting a curb, and driving off the street. In April, the 45-year-old was charged with driving under the influence on April 9, 11, and 25. The man’s repeated DUI arrests have also garnered the attention of the New Jersey General Assembly.
According to The Inquirer, the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee proposed a law that would stiffen the punishment for repeat drunk driving offenders. Under the proposed law, a person convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense that occurs within 60 days of a prior DUI conviction would be charged with a crime in the fourth degree. The proposed law would also allow judges to impose bail up to $10,000 for such offenses.
The proposed law was drafted in response to a judge’s refusal to set bail during the 45-year-old’s fourth DUI offense. The arresting officer in the case asked the judge to set bail, but the judge refused explaining that bail cannot be set for drunk driving because it is considered a traffic violation.
Source: abclocal.go.com, “NJ Man Arrested on 5th DUI Charge in 5 Weeks,” May 16, 2012