Many drunk driving arrests occur out of coincidence, usually when a police officer spots a motorist weaving in his or her lane, or executing an excessively wide turn. While these can appear to be seemingly minor traffic violations, they can typically open the door to a routine traffic stop that can easily become a DWI arrest. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, motorists can easily find themselves undergoing a breath test at the local police department.
The following are some recent examples of arrests in Passaic County as reported by the local news media. As a New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney, I know that even a single conviction for driving while intoxicated can turn a person's world upside down. Not only can a DWI place your personal relationships in jeopardy, the future of your business or career could also be negatively affected.
Drug DUI Arrest
A 50-year-old woman from Passaic was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) on January 21 just before 9am. Based on police reports, a patrol car was dispatched to the parking lot of the Pathmark store on Paulison Avenue after a report was received of an individual sleeping in a 1998 Nissan.
Upon arriving at the scene, the officers found a woman asleep in the car with the keys in the ignition and the engine running while parked in a handicapped space. The officers woke the woman who apparently did not want to answer questions and who then fell back to sleep. Reports indicate that the driver told the officers that she had not been drinking, but had taken medications.
Being unable to complete a variety of field sobriety tests, she was taken to police headquarters where she was took a breath alcohol test and posted results of 0.00 percent blood-alcohol content (BAC). A drug recognition expert made the determination that the woman was under the influence of Oxycodone. She was then charged with driving under the influence.
Asleep and Double Parked
A 30-year-old Prospect Park motorist was arrested and charged with DWI in the early morning hours of January 23. According to reports, a police officer observed a 2008 Mazda double parked on Lake Avenue. When the officer checked the vehicle, he observed two people asleep in the vehicle; a woman in the driver's seat and man in the passenger seat next to her.
Upon waking the driver, the officer reportedly detected sings of intoxication and requested the woman take several field sobriety tests, which she failed. The driver was arrested and transported to police headquarters where she was charged with DWI and refusal to take a breath test.
Driving with No Headlights
A 37-year-old Newark resident was arrested and charged with DWI just after 3am on January 24. According to reports, officers observed a 2004 Honda Civic traveling on Allwood Road without its headlights activated. Officers pulled the vehicle over to interview the driver.
While speaking with the man, officers detected signs of intoxication, which was shortly followed by a battery of failed field sobriety tests. The driver was arrested and transported to police headquarters where he was given a breathalyzer test, which registered 0.13 percent BAC. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.
Police Blotter Clifton Journal, NorthJersey.com, January 29, 2010