The Governor returned a bill to the Senate which would have drastically changed DWI sentencing in New Jersey if passed. The Bill called for, inter alia, the imposition of an ignition interlock system in lieu of license suspension for first conviction for DWI.
The Bill contained provisions that called for a ten-day suspension to show compliance with the installation of the interlock. Once the device was installed, the license would be reinstated. The sentencing judge would then have discretion (to some extent) to impose the interlock for a longer or shorter period of time depending on the circumstances.
The Bill was returned to the Senate with a suggestion from the Governor….How about we impose both a license suspension and an ignition interlock?
The Governor cited statistics that indicate that New Jersey is amongst the nations best when it comes to DWI related fatalities and enforcement, but still in need of improvement.
The current law mandates license suspension, but the ignition interlock is only required for first offense with a B.A.C. of .15 and above, or for a second and third offense.
It is clear to me that the new law would have been better for those facing DWI charges. The prospect of losing your license in New Jersey is pretty daunting. A change in the law that would allow you to keep it certainly seems like a good thing for those facing the problem.
But for now, things remain the same. If you have any questions regarding this decision or DWI charges in general, I can be reached 24 hours.