Many drivers have little idea how easily it is to be stopped by police here in the Garden State. The fact is, even the most minor traffic violation can open the door to a police stop that may or may not escalate into a drunken driving arrest or summons for drug possession. Whether one operates a motor vehicle in Middlesex, Ocean, Passaic or Bergen County, the odds of being charged with DWI or drug DUI is higher during times of increased police patrols, such as during the New Year holidays.
As New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers, I and my team of experienced DWI attorneys have years of experience in representing motorists accused of driving while intoxicated; operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance such as marijuana or cocaine; or any of the many other alcohol and drug-related traffic violations, such as breath test refusal, underage drinking and driving, and repeat DWI offenses.
The legal penalties for individuals convicted of alcohol and drug DUI traffic offenses can be quite stiff, making it crucial that one consult a qualified drunken driving defense attorney before heading into court. Whether you want to fight the charges or not, it is always a good idea to understand your options when one’s license and hard-earned savings are on the line.
Earlier this past fall, the passenger of a vehicle stopped by Clinton Township police officers was arrested and charged with possession of a dangerous controlled substance (CDS). The incident was precipitated, innocently enough, when the occupant asked an officer for help in getting to his destination. This episode is just one example of how easily a person can get in trouble with the law without realizing the consequences of his or her actions.
According to news articles, the arrest occurred a little before noon on a Thursday morning in October. Police reports indicate that a Clinton Twp. patrolman was handling a routine traffic stop along a stretch of Rte 639 near the intersection of Prostak Ln. The officer was reportedly approached by a 41-year-old out-of-state man who was a passenger in a ’04 Lexus sport utility vehicle.
In the course of their conversation, the patrolman noticed what he believed to be a whitish powder under the man’s nose. The officer also reportedly observed that the man appeared to be under the influence of some kind of CDS that was apparently impairing him to some degree or another.
Following the encounter, the officer apparently asked the driver of the vehicle if he could perform a consensual search. The result of that search turned up a variety of evidence, including prescription medicines hidden under the vehicle’s dashboard. Police records showed that some of the medicine was contained in prescription bottles prescribed to suspect, while others were not. Many of the drugs were allegedly packaged in dime bags, according to police.
The officer in charge took the evidence into custody and charged the suspect with unlawful possession of a prescription legend drug. The man was subsequently released, likely pending a court date.
Car passenger asking Clinton Twp. Police Officer for directions charged with drug possession, NJ.com, October 14, 2011