After months of debate, the New Jersey Assembly has passed legislation that prohibits people from working as transit engineers if their driver’s licenses are suspended for DWI.
The issue erupted in May after an ABC News story broke about a NJ Transit engineer who was still operating commuter trains despite a ten-year suspension after multiple DWI convictions.
Under federal law, there is no requirement that train engineers hold a driver’s license, and legislators have identified that provision as a loophole that they’ve now closed.
Gov. Chris Christie signed the legislation at the end of August. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez are pursuing federal remedies to close the same loophole at the national level.
For the time being, it appears that NJ Transit is reassigning personnel who’ve been operating trains while their driver’s licenses are under suspension, and says that once a license is reinstated, they can resume operation.
Whether that changes in the future is an open question, and what impacts a reassignment might have on an employee’s salary is also unresolved at this time.
New Jersey’s stringent DWI laws, and our lack of conditional licenses after DWI conviction to allow access to work or school, remain an enormous impediment to thousands of people who’ve been convicted of DWI.
Every case has defenses, and your best shot at continuing with your normal routine and quality of life is to fight the allegations against you.
Matthew Reisig has helped more than 1,402* New Jersey drivers avoid conviction on DWI charges.
Call Reisig Criminal Law & DWI Defense at 732-625-9660 today to talk to an experienced DWI defense attorney for free.