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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.

On Memorial Day weekend, local authorities will be on the lookout for drunken driving. As many of our have noted, there has been no shortage of infractions and incidents in the area. In some, the drivers manage to but

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.

Darby May 28, 2012 at 01:53 PM
anyone can make a mistake once. if you are habitual then yes you are committing a crime in my opinion and you need to pay for that. But if you hurt somone then you need to pay for that wether its the first time or not.
olga bocchiaro May 28, 2012 at 02:44 PM
yes, if you take the wheel drunk, you don't need to be habitual to cause a fatal accident to innocent people having to be in the way of a drunk driver.You should take responsibility for your actions.
Corinne May 29, 2012 at 12:18 AM
My brother was killed by a first time 19 year old drunk driver that was twice the legal limit. I have spent the last 31 years with out him he was 32 when he was killed. The drunk drivers license was suspended for 30 days. The laws have gotten tougher but the judges and lawyers make deals, I want tougher sentencing so others won't have to suffer the way my family has.

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