It's fair to say that during portions of the calendar year there are more than an average number of DWI, drug DUI and other alcohol-related driver arrests that occur, especially when the holidays are concerned. Just as the various annual "Over the Limit, Under Arrest" anti-drunken driving campaigns net state and municipal enforcement agencies with a good number of drunk driving summonses, it doesn't take long for motorists to be caught operating under the influence as the winter holidays approach.
Labor Day and Memorial Day certainly bring out a large number of drunk driving patrols across the Garden State, including the ubiquitous DWI roadblocks (or drunken driving checkpoints) that pop up every weekend to catch unsuspecting drivers who may have had a glass of wine or bottle of beer with friends. Federal funding of these efforts is one major way in which these large-scale drunk driving efforts manage to keep local patrolmen and state police troopers on the lookout for potential drunk drivers.
So, with Thanksgiving a few weeks away, and the Christmas and New Year's holidays not long after that, it's important to remind everyone to be especially careful when celebrating this coming holiday season. Whether one live or works in Sussex, Passaic, Monmouth or Ocean County, you have no doubt noticed an increased police presence during holiday weekends. New Jersey expressways, tollways and surface streets can be the scene of many a routine traffic stop-turned-DWI arrest.
And while it goes without saying that the numerous anti-DWI campaigns here in the Garden State, as well as in nearby states, are meant to help to help reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths and injuries, as New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, I and my staff also know that a percentage of motorists stopped and charged with DWI or drug DUI may not actually be found guilty in a court of law.
As experienced drunken driving attorneys, we have met with hundreds of potential clients, some of whom believe fervently that they are not guilty of driving while intoxicated. As dedicated DWI-DUI attorneys, we stand behind the rule of law that says everyone who is accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a courtroom.
The process out on the street is usually similar for many people. Following a police stop for a traffic-related offense, a police officer may detect signs that lead him to believe that the driver is possibly inebriated. Telltale signs that prosecutors present to a judge may include the officer's observations that the suspect had watery eyes or possibly slurred speech patterns, even a "drowsy" appearance. Once a patrolman suspects a motorist is impaired by alcohol, he or she may ask the driver to step out of the vehicle and perform one or several of the standardized field sobriety tests.
If the suspect fails one or more of sobriety tests, the officer may then decide to arrest the driver on charges of DWI or drug DUI, which could include impairment by prescription drugs or even illicit substances like cocaine, crystal meth, or marijuana. Whatever the basis for the arrest, anyone facing these kinds of charges should take moment and consider the advantages of consulting with a qualified legal expert in the area of DWI law.