SENATE LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
SENATE, No. 2378
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: NOVEMBER 24, 2003
The Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee reports favorably a Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 2378.
This committee substitute requires persons convicted of a third or subsequent drunk driving offense to be sentenced to a mandatory 180-day term of imprisonment in a county jail or workhouse, but provides that the court may reduce the term of imprisonment for each day, up to a total of 90 days, that the person participates in an alcohol inpatient rehabilitation program approved by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).
Under current law, persons convicted of a third or subsequent offense of drunk driving are subject to 180 days imprisonment, except that the court may reduce this term by up to 90 days for each day served performing community service. Furthermore, these offenders may not be required to serve their term of imprisonment in the county jail or workhouse, but may serve such imprisonment in an inpatient rehabilitation program. Under the substitute, at least 90 days would have to be served in jail without exception.
The substitute also makes drunk drivers who are required to serve the mandatory term of imprisonment ineligible to participate in a work release program. Under a work release program, qualified prisoners may be employed outside the jail, but when not working, they must be confined to the jail.
It is the committee's intention that this act be known as "Michael's Law," in memory of Michael Albano, a 19-year old from Vineland who was killed by a drunk driver in December 2001. The offender had four previous drunk driving convictions.
As reported by the committee, this committee substitute is identical to the Assembly Committee Substitute for Assembly Bill No. 3342, as amended and reported by the committee on this same date.