Bill Would Change NJ Driving With Suspended License Penalties

May 18, 2017

Assembly Judiciary Committee

A bill advanced by a New Jersey Assembly committee would allow people convicted of driving with a suspended license to perform community services instead of going to jail.

Current law allows for a jail sentence up to 180 days.

Assembly Judiciary Committee chairman John McKeon says the intention is to make sure the penalty is appropriate.

"Certainly, people shouldn't be out there driving on suspended licenses, but to put them in jail just seems to really not meet its intended purpose. You're going to disrupt their family life. You're going to disrupt potentially them losing their employment."

McKeon says the enforced community service would allow offenders to continue making a living while paying society back in a different way.

Dianna Houenou with the American Civil Liberties Union of New believes that‘s a smart solution.

“We still need judges to feel more inclined to use those alternatives in a way that actually is impactful and is helping people stay on their feet without jeopardizing their lives or throwing their lives into turmoil.”