New Jersey Looks to Toughen State’s DUI-DWI Law

An NJ Senate committee is setting forth two changes to the already strict NJ DUI/DWI law. The current NJ DUI/DWI law has a 10-year look back period. This means, if you were convicted of an NJ DUI/DWI over ten years ago and you are now convicted of a second NJ DUI/DWI, the second NJ DUI/DWI is treated as your first NJ DUI/DWI conviction for sentencing purposes. Likewise, if you are convicted of two NJ DUI/DWIs in a ten-year period the two NJ DUI/DWIs will be considered your first and second offense.One of the newly proposed bills by the NJ Senate will remove the ten-year look back period all together for an NJ DUI/DWI.

The second NJ DUI/DWI bill that was introduced in the NJ Senate would increase the minimum jail time for someone who was convicted of an NJ DUI/DWI while they were driving on the NJ revoked list. Currently, NJ DUI/DWI law demands a 10-day minimum jail stay if you are convicted of an NJ DUI/DWI while on the NJ revoked list. The new bill will increase this sentence to a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail.

Many other states are now focusing their DUI/DWI laws on treatment and rehabilitation, instead of increasing the penalties including jail time. It seems like the NJ legislature wants to penalize repeat DUI/DWI offenders without concern about the bigger society problem of treating these offenders. Just like drug abuse, alcoholism is a disease that requires treatment. Repeat DUI/DWI offenders need treatment if they have not learned from their first DUI/DWI mistake.