Assemblyman GARY R. CHIUSANO
District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)
Assemblyman ALBERT COUTINHO
District 29 (Essex)
Applies driving while intoxicated law to operation of certain motor vehicles in certain circumstances.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning the operation of certain motor vehicles and amending P.L.1973, c.307.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 30 of P.L. 1973, c.307 (C.39:3C-30) is amended to read as follows:
30. a. Owners and operators of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and dirt bikes shall, when operating such across a public highway or on public land or waters, comply with the following provisions of chapter 4 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes: R.S.39:4-48 through R.S.39:4-51; R.S.39:4-64; R.S.39:4-72; R.S.39:4-80; R.S.39:4-81; R.S.39:4-92; R.S.39:4-96 through R.S.39:4-98; R.S.39:4-99; R.S.39:4-100; R.S.39:4-104; R.S.39:4-129 through R.S.39:4-134; R.S.39:4-203.
b. The provisions of R.S.39:4-50 through R.S.39:4-51 shall apply to the operation of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and dirt bikes on private property.
(cf: P.L.2009, c.275, s.30)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill makes it unlawful to operate a snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, or dirt bike on private property while intoxicated.
Under the driving-while-intoxicated statute, R.S.39:4-50, there is no specification that a person must be operating a motor vehicle on a public highway or on public land or waters in order for the law to apply. New Jersey case law has accordingly long held that operation of a motor vehicle on private property while intoxicated is a violation of the statute. The court noted in State v. Magner, 151 N.J.Super. 451, 454 (App.Div. 1977), that “[o]peration of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor holds no less threat of extraordinary danger of injury to the driver and others or damage to property because that particular folly is performed in a private place than it would were it to occur in a quasi-public or public place.”
In accordance with the wording of R.S.39:4-50 and New Jersey case law, this bill clarifies that the operation of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and dirt bikes on private property while intoxicated is subject to the provisions of R.S.39:4-50 through R.S.39:4-51.