Sun11172019

Last updateWed, 13 Nov 2019 12pm

Politics

Drunk Driving Crackdown

drunk-driving-Bipartisan support approved legislation that would ultimately increase the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol in New Jersey last week. Monmouth County Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande from District  11 and John F. Amodeo, a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from District 2, each co-sponsored the bill, A-3057, which would increase the penalties of serial DUI offenders. The bill was introduced last summer due to a Vineland man getting charged for the offense six times in the span of three months.

The bill’s conditions stipulate an imposition of additional penalties for multiple drunken driving offenses within 60 days and a maximum of $10,000 fine and/or 18 months in prison with an imposed bail of up to $10,000 for repeat offenses. It requires courts to immediately suspend the driver’s license on a second offense without the possibility of applying for a new license at a later date, and it sends subsequent offenses to Superior Court, which mainly deal with serious criminal offenses, rather than municipal courts.

This new bill contrasts the existing legislation for repeat offenses in that the current laws do not address the possibility of a repeat DUI offense within such a small window of time, but due to the recent circumstances, a supplement to the current legislation is needed.

 The current laws (which address a 2nd and 3rd DUI offense in the span of ten years) states that with a repeat offense; impose disciplinary fees that amount to about $4,500 (for two offenses) and $6,000 (for three) and bail for repeat offenders cannot exceed $2,500, a far cry from Casagrande and Amodeo’s new regulations, which raises the fines by a maximum of $5,500 and bail by $7,500.

This bill would without a doubt affect the New Jersey College community as a whole in that the number of students who drink and drive would be curbed due to the increased ferocity of the penalties and the population of repeat DUI offenders would be off the streets and not behind a wheel.

Chief of Police at the University, William McElrath, said, “Drunk Driving is a very serious offense, oftentimes with deadly consequences. I appreciate any effort made to make our roads safer and  I do support this bill.”

Graduate student Thomas Blaney shared his views on the law in regards to college life. “I believe a stricter set of laws concerning drunk driving will send a message to a lot of students who fail to see the gravity of the situation,” said Blaney

In an April 2012 publication, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) stated, “Each year an estimated 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol,” which is a number the New Jersey Assembly Council wished to decrease.

While explaining the merits of the bill, Casagrande stated, “A person under the influence who repeatedly gets behind the wheel of a vehicle is a disaster waiting to happen,” she continued. “Because this measure calls for higher bail and jail time, it will make it much more difficult for such an individual to continue to drive drunk and put us all in danger.”

If passed, the bill looks to deter people from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu