ASSEMBLY, No. 3065

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 24, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  VINCENT MAZZEO

District 2 (Atlantic)

Assemblyman  TIMOTHY J. EUSTACE

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  JAY WEBBER

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman McKeon

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Increases penalties for drunk driving with minor as passenger.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning operating a motor vehicle while under the influence with a minor as a passenger, amending P.L.1999, c.410, and supplementing chapter 24 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.1999, c.410 (C.39:4-50.15) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  As used in this act:

     "Minor" means a person who is 17 years of age or younger.

     "Parent or guardian" means any natural parent, adoptive parent, resource family parent, stepparent, or any person temporarily responsible for the care, custody or control of a minor or upon whom there is a legal duty for such care, custody or control.

     b.    A parent or guardian who is convicted of a violation of R.S.39:4-50 and who, at the time of the violation, has a minor as a passenger in the motor vehicle is guilty of a disorderly persons offense if the violation does not result in injury to the minor.

     c.    In addition to the penalties otherwise prescribed by law, a person who is convicted under subsection b. of this section or section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of not more than six months and shall be ordered to perform community service for a period of not more than five days.

(cf: P.L.2004, c.130, s.112)

 

     2.    (New section)  a.  A parent or guardian who is convicted of a first violation of R.S.39:4-50 and who, at the time of the violation, has a minor as a passenger in the motor vehicle is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the violation results in injury to the minor.

     b.    A parent or guardian who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of R.S.39:4-50 and who, at the time of the violation, has a minor as a passenger in the motor vehicle is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the violation does not result in injury to the minor.

     c.    A parent or guardian who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of R.S.39:4-50 and who, at the time of the violation, has a minor as a passenger in the motor vehicle is guilty of a crime of the third degree if the violation results in injury to the minor.

     d.    For the purposes of this section, the terms "parent or guardian" and "minor" shall have the same meanings as set forth in


subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.1999, c.410 (C.39:4-50.15).

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would increase the penalties for driving drunk with a minor as a passenger in the motor vehicle.

     Under current law, a parent or guardian who is convicted of drunk driving is guilty of a disorderly persons offense if, at the time of the violation, the parent or guardian has a minor as a passenger in the motor vehicle.  A disorderly persons offense is punishable by imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

     Under the bill, a parent or guardian who is convicted of a first violation of drunk driving and has a minor as a passenger would still be guilty of a disorderly persons offense.  But the parent or guardian would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree under the bill if the violation results in injury to the minor.  Fourth degree crimes are punishable by imprisonment of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

     Parents or guardians also would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree under the bill if it was their second or subsequent drunk driving violation and they have a minor as a passenger.  If the parent or guardian commits a second or subsequent drunk driving offense which results in injury to the minor, the parent or guardian is guilty of a crime of the third degree under the bill.  Third degree crimes are punishable by imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.