It seems that every time one turns around in this state there is another DWI or DUI-related traffic accident reported on the web, in the papers or on the local news. As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers and motorists ourselves, we often advise our friends and colleagues never to get behind the wheel of an automobile with even a sip of liquor, beer or wine in one's system.
Why such a strict statement? Because the laws in this state provide for fairly stiff penalties for those defendants who are convicted of drunken driving, even a first-time offense, and there is nothing that we have seen to suggest that driving while intoxicated is worth risking not only one's hard earned money, but also life and limb. Regardless of where you live, be it Bergen, Passaic, Ocean or Monmouth County, being arrested for drunk driving or DUI associated with prescription drugs, the costs of a conviction are not worth taking a chance.
The other reason, though it isn't even something that drivers should contemplate, is that once a motorist is driving on a public road with some alcohol in his or her bloodstream, being stopped for even the most innocuous or seemingly minor traffic offense, moving violation or vehicle infraction can open one up to close scrutiny by a state trooper or municipal cop.
Once a traffic stop has happened, if the officer in charge suspects that the driver may have had something to drink before getting in his vehicle, there may be other tests and evaluations -- such as one of many standardized field sobriety tests or a breath test using the Alcotest device. Of course, being stopped for a minor traffic infraction is nothing compared to actually getting into a roadway collision while possibly inebriated.
And while this may seem like the last thing any driver needs, the frequency of DWI-related traffic wrecks is too high to make there anything close to "rare" events. Just look in the news. Only a short time ago there was a news article about a driver who may have mixed a little too much alcohol with a drive along the Swimming River Rd. in Lincroft, NJ. According to that report, the 60-year-old Eatontown man was
Operating his '12 Ford near Colonial Way around 7:30pm on a Tuesday evening when the accident occurred.
Based on police reports, the driver apparently lost control of the car and then crossed over into the oncoming lanes just as another vehicle was approaching. The collision sent the Ford driver's vehicle off the road and into a nearby tree. Fortunately, nobody was killed in the encounter, but the accident resulted in the Ford owner being trapped in his vehicle before EMS crews could rescue him. After Lincroft Fire Company personnel extricated the injured driver, members of the Middletown Township First Aid & Rescue Squad worked with Middletown EMS crews to treat the man at the scene of the crash before taking him to the hospital.
According to the news article, member of the Port Monmouth First Aid Squad and MONOC Paramedics driver the man by ambulance to the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ, for further medical attention as a precautionary measure; after which police charged the man with driving under the influence of alcohol. No further information was available; however at the time of the news article, police had requested any witnesses to the crash to please contact the department with their account of the accident.
UPDATE: Driver Charged with DWI In Crash in Lincroft Tuesday Night, Patch.com, March 6, 2013