DWI Law Update: Not All Garden State DWI Arrests Lead to Convictions for Drunken Driving

Whenever a driver is stopped by a local police officer or New Jersey state trooper for a traffic violation, even the most minor infraction, there exists the chance that the officer might end up arresting that individual for drunken driving, or issue a summons for DWI. While every situation is different — a motorist returning from a party at a friend’s house or coming home from an evening out with one’s spouse — it is possible that an officer may suspect that the driver is intoxicated by alcohol, or even prescription medication or illegal drugs.

As a New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyer, I understand how the procedure by which a patrolman stops a motor vehicle possible driven in an erratic fashion, observes the driver for telltale signs of intoxication, then evaluates that individual to determine if there is reason to believe that he or she is impaired due to alcohol consumption or use of a narcotic substance (sometimes referred to as drug DUI).

It makes little difference whether you live or work in Ocean, Passaic or Mercer County, the chances of being arrested for DWI or prescription drug DUI is ever present. But if you are pulled over and subsequently arrested or issued a summons for drunken driving, are you predestined to being convicted of driving while intoxicated? The answer is to that question depends on multiple factors.

As professional New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, I and my staff approach every case with many years of drunk driving litigation under our belts. As a former municipal prosecutor myself, I understand when it is proper to petition the court to dismiss the charges against a motorist, or at least reduce the state’s DWI charges to better match the individual circumstances surrounding the arrest.

Having tried drunk driving cases as a prosecutor, I’m familiar with the strategies used by the state’s representatives. Because of this, I always suggest to people who face drunk driving charges to carefully consider whether or not they wish to go into court without an experienced attorney at their side. A DWI lawyer can prove to be a great benefit, especially for those individuals facing stiff penalties for a first-time drunken driving or DUI arrest.

Never assume that there is no hope. Not only is this a defeatist approach, most defendants don’t realize that they might actually be able to improve their chances unless they consult with a qualified DWI attorney. A good lawyer will look at all the facts surrounding the arrest. Understanding the details of a DWI arrest, such as whether the state has proof of intoxication or if a blood or breath test was done correctly — much less if the results of the breathalyzer was even accurate — allows a lawyer to build a viable defense for his or her client.

It’s always important to select a DWI defense lawyer who has the experience, skill, and commitment to represent you well in court. Look for a lawyer who is certified in Field Sobriety Testing as defined by the National Transportation Safety Administration, as well as holding a certification in the operation and maintenance of breathalyzer devices — such as the Alcotest machine, which is used by many New Jersey municipal police departments and the state police.