As a representing New Jersey motorists charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, I have handled hundreds of cases involving individuals who drove drunk and had an accident while intoxicated. The state of New Jersey provides stiff fines and jail time for many motorists who operate a vehicle while impaired by beer, wine or hard liquor.
Driving under the influence of prescription drugs (drug DUI) will also cause a driver trouble if pulled over by a state, county or municipal law enforcement officer. Regardless of the circumstances, for a traffic stop to be valid it must be supported by the police officer’s reasonable suspicion that a motor vehicle violation has occurred. Under State v. Carpentieri, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that law enforcement officers must have an articulable and reasonable suspicion that a violation of traffic law has happened.
Once an individual is stopped the police must have probable cause to believe the driver is intoxicated before they can make an arrest and conduct a breathalyzer test – usually using an Alcotest measuring device. Remember that there is no right to advice from counsel at this early stage in the DWI process.
A few examples of drunk driving arrests are included below, based on recent news reports. Dozens of these kinds of incidents take place in New Jersey every week.
Officers pulled over a 28-year-old Clifton resident in the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 20, when officers observed the motorist traveling at a high rate of speed along the city street. The actual traffic stop occurred at the corner of Glenridge Avenue and Forest Street. As officers approached the vehicle, they detected signs that the driver had possibly been drinking. The man was likely given a series of field sobriety tests to determine his state of inebriation, after which he was taken into custody and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as speeding.
In an earlier incident, a 56-year-old woman from Riverdale was charged with several offenses including assault by auto, careless driving and DWI after the vehicle she was driving collided with another car. The driver reportedly left the scene of the accident just before 6:30pm on January 19. According to police records, another motorist followed the woman as she drove away, following her to the intersection of Grove Street and Mt. Hebron Road, where she eventually pulled over.
A 44-year-old resident of Newark, NJ, was arrested on January 17 after a Red Bank patrolman observed the woman driving in a manner suggesting drunk driving. The officer pulled the driver over, and on suspicion of drunk driving charged the woman with driving under the influence of alcohol.
In two separate incidents on January 16, Red Bank police arrested a 24-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man on charges of driving while intoxicated. The woman was stopped by a Red Bank police officer in the area of N. Bridge Ave. The woman was apparently drunk, according to police. The officer likely conducted standardized field sobriety tests, which the suspect probably failed. She was arrested for DWI.
In the second arrest that day, the 64-year-old driver was stopped near Newman Springs Rd. by a Red Bank patrolman on suspicion of drunk driving and other traffic violations. After evaluating the driver, the officer effected an arrest and charged the man with driving under the influence of alcohol.