Published on New Jersey 101.5
Reported and written by Sergio Bichao and David Matthau
The NJ101.5 reporter report that “A state law that required towns to use a new $25 DWI fine to pay for installing video recording devices in police cars was overturned earlier this year. But months later, municipal court judges across the state don’t appear to have gotten the memo.”
They interviewed Peter Lederman for the piece.
Peter H. Lederman, a Freehold attorney who has handled more than 4,500 DWI cases, says the council’s decisions are supposed to be final and the state’s continued collecting of the surcharge is an “invasive, ongoing abuse of power.”
“I think it’s outrageous … it’s not responsible,” Lederman said Wednesday. “I want to see the system work but something like this, it makes you shake your head.”
Lederman said in a recent case, he convinced a municipal court judge that the $25 surcharge had been declared unconstitutional. But the court clerk told the judge that the state’s computers wouldn’t allow them to process a DWI conviction without including the $25 special surcharge. The judge got around that by reducing a different fine against his client by $25, Lederman said.