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  • NJ A3895
  • Allows law enforcement officers to scan drivers' cell phones under certain circumstances; imposes penalties for refusal.
Introduced
(6/16/2016)
In Committee
(6/16/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill allows law enforcement officers to scan drivers' cell phones under certain circumstances and imposes penalties for refusal. Specifically, under the provisions of this bill, every person who operates a motor vehicle that has been involved in an accident resulting in death, bodily injury, or property damage and who has in his possession a wireless telephone or electronic communication device at or near the time of the accident is required, at the request of a law enforcement officer, to surrender the telephone or device to the officer solely for the purpose of conducting a field test. Under the bill, a "field test" is defined as the use of an electronic scanning device, approved by the Attorney General, to determine whether the operator of a motor vehicle was using a wireless telephone or electronic communication device in violation of current law at or near the time of the accident. The electronic scan is not to include the content or origin of any communication, image, electronic data, or game contained on the telephone or device. The bill requires the Attorney General to promulgate guidelines concerning the prosecution of violations under the bill and disseminate the guidelines to county and municipal prosecutors. In addition, the Attorney General is to adopt rules or regulations necessary to effectuate the provisions of this bill. The bill also provides that any person who operates a motor vehicle on any public road or highway in this State is deemed to have consented to having a field test conducted on his or her wireless telephone or electronic communication device. The test is required to be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this bill and at the request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that the person operated a motor vehicle that was involved in an accident resulting in death, bodily injury, or property damage. Under the bill, a field test is not to be conducted forcibly; however, the law enforcement officer is required to inform the operator of the motor vehicle of the consequences of refusing to allow a field test to be conducted on the operator's wireless telephone or electronic communication device. The penalties are the same as the penalties imposed on a driver who refuses to submit to a breath test under the current driving while intoxicated laws. For a first offense, a person would be subject to a license revocation for seven months to one year and a fine of $300 to $500; for a second offense, a license revocation of two years and a fine of $500 to $1,000; and for a third or subsequent offense, a license revocation of 10 years and a fine of $1,000. If the violation occurred while on school property or driving through a school crossing, the person would be subject to the increased penalties imposed on a driver who refuses to submit to a breath test under current law as follows: for a first offense, license suspension for one to two years and a fine of $600 to $1,000; for a second offense, license suspension for four years and a fine of $1,000 to $2,000; and for a third or subsequent offense, license suspension for 20 years and a fine of $2,000. Finally, the bill requires the Attorney General to develop and undertake a public education campaign to inform the public about the provisions of this bill.
Law and Public Safety
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee  (on 6/16/2016)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
6/16/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified