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In 2014, a New Jersey law was passed which added a $25 surcharge to drunk driving convictions. This additional fine was supposed to be used to help local municipalities pay for the video equipment installed in police cruisers. However, this surcharge was supposed to have been disbanded in the spring of 2016 thanks to an effort made by the Council on Local Mandates.

The Council of Local Mandates is an organization whose mission is protecting taxpayers from unnecessary burdens and fees. They argued that the $25 surcharge was not nearly enough to pay for the video equipment used in police cars, and using this argument supposedly overturned the law and had the surcharge removed from DUI/DWI cases.

A recent report by the NJ radio station 101.5 FM shows that local courts across New Jersey are still charging the $25 for DUI convictions. It is unclear exactly how much money has been charged, but its estimated to be between $500,000 to $1,000,000 per year! Furthermore, the report indicates that there is little to no record of exactly where the DUI surcharge money has gone or what it has been spent on.

Taxpayers are obviously unhappy to hear this, but the Assistant Attorney General Stephan Finkel has gone on record defending the surcharge stating "The surcharge provision, which was a different part of the law, was not declared to be an unfunded mandate, so it remains on the books and is still being enforced."

Contrary to this, the Council of Local Mandates April decision in regards to the driving while intoxicates surcharge states that "the determination renders nugatory the $25 surcharge." The legality of the DUI surcharge is currently unclear, only time will tell exactly what decisions courts will make in regards to its continuance.

Contact a Morris County DUI Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one is currently facing a DUI/DWI charge, it is important that you have experienced legal counsel to protect your rights. A driving while intoxicated charge has serious consequences, even a first-time offense.

At the Morristown, NJ law offices of Smith & Doran, we have extensive experience defending clients from DUI charges, failed breath tests, and driving under the influence of drugs. To speak with one of our attorneys today, contact us online or by phone at 973-261-6254.

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Smith & Gaynor, LLC
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 973-532-2661
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