A man who has had multiple DUI convictions and a suspended driver’s license will no longer be able to operate a train. The man worked for the New Jersey Transit as a train engineer; however, he is not working as an engineer any longer. His driver’s license was suspended for 10 years because of his repeat DWI violations.
Two state senators, Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, were instrumental in getting legislation passed at the state level and now they want action on the federal level.
According to Senator Menendez, “It’s just not worth the risk. This is common sense.” While it might seem so to certain people, the New Jersey Transit says that their hands are tied by federal regulations when it comes re-certifying engineers who have their license taken away. The rules say that if the person doesn’t have a problem with substance abuse, then the loss of his or her driver’s license is not to be considered with regard to an engineer’s certification. Senator Menendez says that loophole will be closed. “New Jersey Transit or any other transit system can set higher standard and should set higher standard.” Because there is no rule for them doing so at the local level, there will be state and federal legislation that will take care of setting the standard for them.
Earlier in May, the National Transportation Safety Board determined that last year’s deadly Amtrak derailment was partially due to a distracted engineer. Alcohol was not part of the accident, but lawmakers are using it as an example as to how quickly split-second distractions can cost lives.
Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti said, “It’s basic common sense. If you are not able to operate your car, you should not be entrusted with the safety and lives of thousands of New Jersey residents every day.”
This is another reason why it is so important to fight a DWI or DUI charge. It can have a drastic effect on your employment, such as you no longer being able to keep a high paying job.
Source: ABC7NY.com, “Investigators: Enginner with DWIS off the rails; senators want federal action,” May 27, 2016