Whether one is driving home from a family get-together, after-hours office party at a local restaurant, or just having a night out with friends, a traffic stop could end up costing you big if the police believe that you may have been drinking and driving. Not only do state and local police here in the Garden State have an extremely low tolerance for drivers who operate their cars while impaired by alcohol or drugs, our DWI laws make a drunk driving conviction less than appealing as well.
And being famous, well-known or even infamous will not typically get someone any special dispensation. The law is the law; sports figures, public servants, business executives, even TV personalities and movie stars can get themselves caught up in a New Jersey drunk driving arrest as quickly as anyone else.
As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, I and my experienced drunk driving defense team have the skills and training to represent individuals accused of driving while intoxicated, as well as driving under the influence of controlled dangerous substances (CDSs), such as prescription medications, marijuana, and even cocaine. The latter of these are known collectively as drug DUI offenses.
The only real difference between a famous personality and the average man on the street is the likely fact that the stiff monetary penalties associated with drunken driving convictions will like hit the common man’s wallet a lot harder that that of those blessed with fame and/or fortune. In any case, jail time and public service can also be ordered by the court in certain cases, depending on the type of violation and the defendant’s past DWI history, if any.
A short while ago, a relatively well-known New Jersey resident was arrested for drunk driving while traveling through Connecticut in late January. According to news reports, actor Avery Brooks, well known for his portrayal of Commander Benjamin Sisko in the ’90s television series “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” was arrested by local police and charged with DWI.
Based on police reports, officers apparently responded to a complaint about the 63-year-old Brooks’ driving in or near the town of Wilton, CT. Officers reportedly pulled the actor over and eventually charged him with driving under the influence. It was not clear from the news article whether alcohol or drugs allegedly may have been involved.
As is typical with these kinds of DWI arrests, officers likely located the suspects vehicle, based on complaints from another person in the area. The officers, by law, would then have had to observe some traffic infraction in order to pull the man over. Once stopped, the opportunity to interview the driver gives a patrolman the chance to observe the suspect’s demeanor, observe his or her person, as well as the immediate contents of the car.
In Brooks’ case, officers apparently felt they had sufficient evidence to merit and arrest. He was reportedly taken into custody and processed at the local police precinct. According to news reports, the he was released pending a court appearance in that municipality. While Brooks had made not comment on the incident, at the time of the news article, it was stated that he has no prior convictions. Despite a reportedly clean record in this regard, the actor could be facing up to six months in jail, as well as a one-year driver’s license suspension and a $1,000 fine.