Monday, June 15, 2009
Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) has introduced a package of bills that would crack down hard on motorists repeatedly caught driving under the influence or driving with a suspended license. The bills would also impose stiff penalties on those caught lending their vehicle to someone with a suspended or revoked license, in an effort to deter those who enable repeat offenders. "In my opinion, one time caught drunk driving is too many. However, people make mistakes. If you don't learn from those mistakes and continue to endanger the lives of others, we need to send a clear message that we are going to have zero tolerance," Codey said. The first bill would impose mandatory jail time of six months to one year for anyone caught driving under the influence while currently suspended for a previous DUI or previous refusal to take a breath test. Under current law, anyone caught driving with a suspended license is subject to a $500 fine and a license suspension of up to an additional six months. Anyone caught driving while suspended a second time is subject to a $750 fine, another six months license suspension and anywhere from one to five days in county jail. Ap.