Lawmakers Discuss Harsher DUI Penalties

Driving under the influence may soon become a crime worth $10,000 in fines and up to 18 months of imprisonment

Repeat drunken driving offenders in New Jersey might face steeper penalties.

The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee is set to discuss the legislation Thursday.

Under the bill, a person convicted of driving under the influence two times or more within 60 days would be guilty of a fourth-degree crime. That's punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment up to 18 months.

Driving under the influence is currently classified as a traffic offense.

The bill also requires the court to suspend the person's driver's license and permits judges to impose bail up to $10,000.
Courts aren't typically allowed to impose a bail amount higher than $2,500 for fourth-degree crimes.

The bill comes after a Vineland man was recently arrested on a fifth DUI charge in five weeks.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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