Defendant appeals from a final decision of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, which indefinitely suspended his passenger-carrying endorsement (passenger endorsement) on his commercial driver’s license (CDL). On appeal, defendant claims that he did not receive a fair hearing, and that the Commission abused its discretion when it suspended his passenger endorsement. After reviewing the record, the briefs, and the applicable law, Appeals Court affirmed.
Under New Jersey law, decision of Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) to treat driver as a second offender based upon a guilty plea to a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in New York was statutorily required and thus was not arbitrary, capricious or an abuse of discretion. Driver was subject to punishment for driving under the influence in both New York and New Jersey within a ten-year period.
Defendants who were charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) challenged the admissibility of results from breath testing device. The Superior Court, Law Division, Middlesex County, stayed all DWI-related cases involving breath test device. State appealed, and the Appellate Division remanded for a hearing on admissibility. The Supreme Court certified the pending appeal before hearing could proceed, vacated the remand to the trial court, and remanded the case to a Special Master. The Special Master submitted findings and conclusions. The Supreme Court held that:  evidence was sufficient to support findings that blood/ breath ratio of 2100 to one for purposes of calculating blood alcohol level continued to be scientifically valid;  lowering required breath volume for blood alcohol breath testing device from 1.5 liters to 1.2 liters for women over the age of 60 did not violate equal protection;  evidence was insufficient to support recommendation that breath temperature sensor be incorporated into device;  use of the absolute 0.01 percent blood alcohol concentration standard, coupled with use of like range of tolerance expressed as percentage deviation from mean, for breath testing device was scientifically appropriate;  use of a fuel cell drift algorithm did not render device scientifically inaccurate;  use of a weighted averaging algorithm did not render device scientifically inaccurate; and  admission of alcohol influence report generated by device did not violate confrontation clause. Adopted as modified and remanded.
Defendant holding commercial drivers license (CDL) was charged with violating general refusal statute, rather than statute pertaining to refusal by a person driving a commercial vehicle, when he failed to submit to alcohol testing after being arrested for operating a commercial motor vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration. The Superior Court, Law Division, Bergen County, dismissed refusal charge. State appealed. The Superior Court, Appellate Division, held that:  a failure to cite the correct substantive offense in traffic ticket was not a “technical defect” subject to amendment;  refusal by a person driving a commercial vehicle to submit to alcohol testing (CDL refusal) is not a lesser included offense of general refusal; and  arrest for CDL DUI may not serve as the predicate for a prosecution under the general refusal statute. Affirmed.
Defendant was convicted by jury in the Superior Court, Law Division, Warren County, of first-degree possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, seconddegree conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute, and fourth-degree possession of marijuana, and he appealed. The Superior Court, Appellate Division, held that:  state trooper was entitled to conduct warrantless administrative inspection of defendant’s tractor trailer pursuant to applicable federal regulations;  closely regulated business exception to warrant requirement could not form basis for state trooper’s warrantless search into closets or personal belongings located inside tractor trailer’s sleeper cabin; and  State failed to demonstrate the presence of exigent circumstances so as to trigger automobile exception to warrant requirement. Reversed and remanded.
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