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Not Wearing Seat Belt Can Serve as a Predicate Offense

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.”

Jason Matey, Esq. 

3 Comments to Not Wearing Seat Belt Can Serve as a Predicate Offense :

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Cleveland Silas on Sunday, February 03, 2013 3:44 AM
Useful blog about ''Not Wearing Seat Belt Can Serve as a Predicate Offense''. We should obviously use the sit belt when we drive. I am thankful to you for learning this. keep it up man!
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car accident lawyer Sydney on Monday, May 20, 2013 1:49 AM
In 63% of car accident fatalities, the victim was not wearing a seat belt when the accident occurred. The importance of seat belts in auto accidents is a well known. it was a crime not to wear it..thanks for the post..
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drive you home on Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:35 AM
Yes, Not wearing seat belts is also like breaking law and it is punishable offense. Your post will helps people to aware about this thing.
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