RECENT NJ LEGAL INFORMATION
A new law in New Jersey provides that a person found guilty of a parking violation(s) or any traffic offense must be given an opportunity to appear before a judge prior to suspending that person's license. If the person is found by the court to be indigent or in a government-based income program, that person must be permitted to pay the fine(s) in installments no longer than 12 months. The law is effective July 16, 2000.

In a recent case, it was ruled on an Appeal, that although a Police Officer has the right to inquire of two men sitting in a motor vehicle as to why they were sitting in a parked vehicle in a tavern parking lot, he cannot conduct a search of the men and the vehicle (although marijuana was found) unless he has an "articulable suspicion" of criminal activity. The Officer said he had a "sixth sense" of something wrong, but this was not a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, according to the Appellate Division. (State v Costa).

It is now the law as of January 18, 2000, that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a minor as a passenger in the vehicle, in addition to DWI penalties, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail and are subject to further loss of driver's license for six months.

As of January 18, 2000, if the municipal court fails within three years of the date of a parking ticket to issue a warrant for arrest or order a license suspension, the ticket must be dismissed and may not be reopened.

On Jan 20th, 2004, a new DWI offense was created. A blood alcohol content of .08% was added, with conviction resulting in a fine of $250-$400 with a 3 months license revocation, for a first offense. The first offense penalties for driving with .10% blood alcohol was changed to a $330-$500 fine and a seven month to one year revocation of license.
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