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

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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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