New Bucks County, PA DUI ARD procedure!!!

January 21, 2010

Congratulations to the new Bucks County District Attorney for improving the court procedure for DUI matters in the Bucks County Common Pleas Court. The Bucks County Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) cases are now being adjudicated in a separate courtroom than the remainder of the Bucks County criminal cases.

In the past, all Bucks County criminal cases called to court on a particular morning were initially directed to Courtroom #1. The list of the all the criminal cases were called by a judge and then the court would address various issues regarding the cases. After a short break, the Bucks County ARD cases were then called forward and were addressed by the court. The remainder of the Bucks County criminal cases, which included guilty pleas, had to wait and wait until the cases were called to the attention of the court. Many times guilty pleas in were not heard by the court for the purposes of sentencing until mid-afternoon.

The new Bucks County ARD procedure is much improved. Much like Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the DUI-ARD cases are called to a different courtroom and are adjudicated separately from the other Bucks County criminal matters. This new procedure should speed up the criminal court process, assuming that there are available judges. The Bucks County Court of Common Pleas is short on judges. Hopefully this year, there will be more available judges for court matters.

Contact us, Bucks County DUI attorneys if you are interested in being admitted to the ARD program if you are charged with a DUI in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.


NJ’s new Ignition Interlock legislation passes the Assembly & Senate!

January 11, 2010

Good news for New Jersey drivers! This evening, Ricci's Law has passed both the Assembly and the Senate with flying colors. Ricci's law is New Jersey's new Ignition Interlock law. For those of you who do not know, an ignition interlock device prevents intoxicated drivers from starting a vehicle's ignition if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is above a certain level. It is expected that Governor Corzine will enact Ricci's Law before he leaves office this month.

Currently, ignition interlock is part of New Jersey's DWI law. Unfortunately for the past few years, NJ's ignition interlock law was optional and it was up to local Municipal Court judges to apply the law when sentencing DWI offenders. Most NJ Municipal Court judges did not order ignition interlock on DWI offender's vehicles.

Ricci's Law will now make ignition interlock mandatory on most DWI offender's vehicles, including 1st offenders with a BAC above 0.15%. States across the country are enacting mandatory ignition interlock laws for all DUI/DWI offenders. The federal government will soon be passing legislation that will require every state to pass ignition interlock laws for all DUI/DWI offenders' vehicles. Each state that does not comply with the soon to be enacted federal law will lose millions of dollars of federal highway money each year. No state can afford this! In 2009, Pennsylvania legislators introduced 9 ignition interlock bills.

What do you think about ignition interlocks? Do you approve of the use of ignition interlocks on all DUI/DWI offenders' vehicles or is it just another addition to the harsh penalties associated with drunk driving?

I believe it's a lifesaving technology and any legislature that does not utilize this lifesaving technology is reckless with public safety.


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