NJ May Be Illegally Collecting Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars In DUI Surcharges

By Evan Levow
 on 0101/1919/17171717
 in the category:
One Dollar Bill

Recent reports have found that New Jersey courts are continuing to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in DWI surcharges as part of a law that was overturned long ago.

In 2014 a law was passed that added a $25 surcharge to drunk driving convictions in the State of New Jersey. The $25 fine was intended to be used by municipalities to pay for video equipment for police dash cams, but the program was shut down earlier this year by the Council on Local Mandates.

Why Was The Law Overturned?

In the spring of 2016 the Council on Local Mandates - an organization designed to protect municipalities from laws that burden local taxpayers - determined the 2014 law to be an “unfunded mandate” because the $25 surcharge was not sufficient to pay for the expensive video equipment.

NJ Courts Continue To Collect $25 DUI Surcharge Fee

Despite the fact that the law was overturned in 2016, recent reports from New Jersey Radio station 101.5 FM found that local courts throughout the State of New Jersey are continuing to collect the $25 fee in DUI convictions.

It is unclear exactly how much money has been collected via the special DWI surcharge, but some estimate the amount to be between $500,000 - $1,000,000 dollars per year. Additionally, there is no evidence as to where the money collected from the DWI surcharge is being spent at the moment.

Opposing Interpretations of the Law

Drivers and lawyers throughout New Jersey are infuriated by the news, but Government officials are defending the collection of the $25 surcharge by arguing that the Council’s decision was only meant to apply to the dashcam provision.

“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,” said Assistant Attorney General Stephan Finkel in a radio interview with New Jersey’s 101.5 FM.

However, the Council’s April 20th decision regarding the special DWI surcharge specifically stated “That the determination renders nugatory the $25 surcharge.”

To read the entire decision from the Council on April 20th, 2016, click here.

Yet Another Controversy Surrounding New Jersey DWI Laws

This controversial story is emerging just after New Jersey State Police Sergeant Marc Dennis was indicted on charges of second-degree official misconduct, third-degree tampering with public records and fourth-degree falsifying records in more than 20,000 DWI cases.

You can learn more about Marc Dennis' involvement in public records tampering by reading our recent blog post here.

Levow DWI Law, P.C.: Defending NJ Drivers

At Levow DWI Law, P.C. we are committed to defending the rights of drivers throughout the State of New Jersey.

If you or a loved one are facing DWI charges in New Jersey then it is important for you to seek the legal aid of an experienced DWI defense attorney before proceeding with your case.

You can contact our team of award-winning lawyers today for a free consultation to learn about your legal options.

We have helped many drivers arrested on DWI charges to obtain favorable outcomes, such as reduced charges and lower penalties.

(877) 735-2288
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Evan Levow - instructor of field sobrietyState V. Chun Button
(877) 735-2288
Evan Levow
Date Published: January 19, 2017
Evan Levow is the managing partner of Levow DWI Law, P.C., which is a Tier 1 DUI/DWI Best Law Firm. Evan Levow has argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on landmark DWI breath testing cases such as State vs. Chun. He is also the President Emeritus of the 600 member DUI Defense Lawyers Association.
Home » NJ May Be Illegally Collecting Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars In DUI Surcharges
(856) 428-5055
A New Jersey DWI Law Firm.
1415 Marlton Pike East, #400
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Get Directions
"GO WITH EVAN! Evan got my DWI dropped completely. It still amazes me how he was able to do so, considering my personal circumstance. But if you are considering Levow DWI Law go with them."
Levow DWI Law, P.C. Reviewed by KL on Jan 6
*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★
Copyright 2021 Levow DWI Law, P.C. This website is to be considered as attorney advertising. Use of this website does not form an attorney-client relationship. Our headquarters is in Cherry Hill, NJ. All other offices are by appointment only.
Awards methodologies