N.J. lawmakers move to keep repeat drunken-driving suspects off the road

New Jersey drivers repeatedly stopped for drunken driving now can get behind the wheel while waiting for their day in court.

Some lawmakers want to change that.

A bill under consideration would allow judges to impose bail of up to $10,000 and suspend the driver’s license of anyone charged with driving under the influence more than once within 60 days.

The measure was prompted by the case of a Vineland man who was charged with drunken driving five times in five weeks, says Assemblyman Nelson Albano, one of the primary sponsors.

“He had not been to municipal court. So every time he was arrested they couldn’t take his license,” said Albano, D-Cape May. “He continued to drive. He continued to drink. It was a miracle that this man did not kill anyone.

“He had a few accidents. He totaled his car,” he said. “It’s a wonder he’s still alive.”

Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Atlantic, is sponsoring similar legislation in the Senate. He said he’s hoping the Legislature passes it by the end of June.

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