Mandatory Jail for Driving on a DWI Suspension in NJ
State v. Harris, a recent New Jersey Appellate Division case decided on February 4, 2015 determined that a defendant who drives after being convicted or pleading guilty to multiple DWIs will not be allowed to serve their jail sentence under house arrest, county supplemental labor program or in a rehab. The law is now clear that a defendant convicted of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26b, driving while suspended for multiple DWI offense, must be sentenced to 180 days in jail without parole. Neither rehab, day reporting or house arrest shall serve as a substitute. The February 4, 2015 ruling involves six defendants whose licenses were suspended for multiple DWI offenses. A violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26b is an indictable offense of the fourth-degree. The statute previously permitted defendants to serve their sentences at either home under electronic supervision or at a county day reporting program. No sentencing alternative will be available. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office appealed those sentences and the Appellate division concurred that the clear purpose of jail was an intent to protect the public from repeat offenders.