New Jersey proposes increased penalty for driving drunk with child passenger

Tougher penalties could be on the way for driving drunk in New Jersey with a child in the car.Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee chairman Charles Mainor, a former Jersey City police detective, says parents drink too much and then get behind the wheel more than you might guess. 

“Unfortunately I think a lot is getting by us, and we’re not catching the person, and when we do nine times out of ten it’s because of an accident”, said Mainor. “What we’re trying to do is to upgrade and bring more awareness to tell people please do not do this.

 Under current law, a parent or guardian convicted of drunken driving with a child passenger is guilty of a disorderly persons offense punishable by a thousand dollar fine and up to six months in jail.

The bill would set a fine of up to $15,000 and as much as five years in prison if the violation results in an accident that injures a child passenger.

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