State v. Kirby Lenihan, ? N.J. Super. ?, 2012 N.J. Super. LEXIS 140 (August 13, 2012) – Conviction affirmed.
“In this case we are asked to determine whether a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:3-76.2f, the "seat belt law," can serve as a predicate offense to support a conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:40-18(b), which proscribes knowingly violating a law or failing to perform a duty imposed by law intended to protect the public health and safety and recklessly causing serious bodily injury.
Defendant appeals her plea-bargained conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:40-18(b), arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague and the seat belt law is not a law intended to protect the public health and safety as contemplated by this statute…. We accord the phrase, ‘a law intended to protect the public health and safety,’ its plain and ordinary meaning.
If the Legislature had intended N.J.S.A. 2C:40-18 to be limited to the ‘community at large’ and not apply to individuals, as suggested by defendant, it could have qualified the term accordingly. It did not do so…. We may supply terms omitted by the Legislature if it is clear that they are necessary to manifest the legislative intent…. That is not the case here.
The Legislature's use of the term, ‘a law intended to protect the public health and safety’ suggests an intent to reach a broad spectrum and their conscious choice not to employ restrictions and qualifications precludes us from supplying them here.” http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a4667-10.pdf
Jason Matey, Esq.