TRENTON – Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) applauded the General Assembly today for unanimously approving a bill sponsored by Assemblymen John McKeon and John Wisniewski that would impose stiff new penalties on those caught lending their vehicle to someone with a suspended or revoked license due to a DUI.
“If you’re going to loan your car to someone with a history of drunk driving, then you should be held to the same level of accountability as them if they go out and injure someone else on the road,” said Sen. Codey, the prime sponsor of the bill in the Senate. “This is about personal responsibility and respecting the lives of others,”
Bill S2940/A4302 is part of a three-bill package sponsored by Sen. Codey that is designed to crackdown on repeat DUI offenders. The bills were prompted, in part, by reports this summer of an East Rutherford man who injured another man and his young daughter in a DUI related accident and was later found to have 12 previous DUI convictions and 78 license suspensions.
The bill approved today would impose a fine of $1,000 and up to 15 days jail time for anyone who knowingly lends their vehicle to someone with a suspended license due to a DUI conviction or refusal to take a breath test. These penalties would apply to the first or second time an individual is caught loaning their car under the above circumstances. If they are caught a third time or more, they would get $1,000 fine, up to 15 days jail time, and forfeit their own right to drive for 90 days. Under current law, the only penalties that exist for this offense are a fine of $200-$500 and up to 15 days in jail. The bill now awaits final legislative approval by the Senate.
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