May 29, 2009
IN THE MATTER OF ALAN D. WEISSMAN.
On appeal from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted December 15, 2008
Before Judges Carchman and R. B. Coleman.
On August 15, 2007, appellant Alan D. Weissman was convicted of "driving while ability impaired" ("DWAI") in the State of New York. Upon receiving notice of said out-of-state conviction, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission ("MVC") suspended Weissman's driving privileges in this State for the statutorily mandated minimum of ninety days, pursuant to the Interstate Driver License Compact, N.J.S.A. 39:5D-1 to -14. The applicable provision states:
(a) The licensing authority in the home State, for the purposes of suspension, revocation or limitation of the license to operate a motor vehicle, shall give the same effect to the conduct reported, pursuant to Article III of this compact, as it would if such conduct had occurred in the home State, shall apply the penalties of the home State or of the State in which the violation occurred, in the case of convictions for:
(2) Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a narcotic drug, or under the influence of any other drug to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle; [N.J.S.A. 39:5D-4(a)(2).]
Appellant argues that the violation of the New York statute is not a violation in New Jersey as New Jersey only has a driving while intoxicated statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, which requires the blood alcohol content of the driver to be in excess of .08 percent. Appellant misinterprets both the laws of New York and the correlating law in New Jersey. Neither N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1192(1), nor N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a), require a minimum blood alcohol reading for a conviction. See, e.g., Div. of Motor Vehicles v. Lawrence, 194 N.J. Super. 1 (App. Div. 1983). Moreover, it is settled that the two statutes are of a "substantially similar nature" as to fall under the Driver License Compact, N.J.S.A. 39:5D-4(c). N.J. Div. of Motor Vehicles v. Ripley, 364 N.J. Super. 343 (App. Div. 2003); In the Matter of Johnson, 226 N.J. Super. 1, 4 (App. Div. 1988); Lawrence, supra, 194 N.J. Super. 1. The purpose underlying both of these statutes is to deter and punish drunk driving. Lawrence, supra, 194 N.J. Super. at 3.
Our courts have consistently upheld suspensions imposed pursuant to the Driver License Compact under substantially similar circumstances. State v. Colley, 397 N.J. Super. 214, 218 (App. Div. 2007); N.J. Div. of Motor Vehicles v. Pepe, 379 N.J. Super. 411 (App. Div. 2005); Ripley, supra, 364 N.J. Super. 343; Johnson, 226 supra, N.J. Super. at 4; Lawrence, supra, 194 N.J. Super. at 1.
We find that the decision of the MVC is well-supported by sufficient credible evidence in the record and appellant's argument is without sufficient merit to warrant a lengthy discussion. R. 2:11-3(e)(D) and (E).
We further note that Weissman's plea to set aside his suspension has been rendered moot as his driving privileges were restored on April 13, 2008. City of Camden v. Whitman, 325 N.J. Super. 236, 241 (App. Div. 1999) ("courts of this state do not resolve issues that have become moot due to the passage of time or intervening events.").
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