It’s happened to more than one New Jersey driver in the past week: cruising down the road after a luncheon with business associates, coming home from a good friend’s bachelor party, or even going to the supermarket to pick up some groceries. These all sound normal enough, and they are, but for one added element: being stopped by a police officer for some minor traffic infraction. Whether it was a turn without signaling, a rolling stop in a quiet neighborhood or maybe just a burned-out taillamp, either way, one could be looking at a pricey ticket for one or more traffic violations, unless….
Unless the driver in question appears to the patrolman to exhibit some of the “typical” signs of being drunk behind the wheel. If a driver has had a drink or two previous to the traffic stop, then that individual could have trouble down the road, since many police officers are extremely suspicious of driver who exhibit signs of being intoxicated. As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, I and my legal staff are committed to representing individuals who have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs and even controlled dangerous substances (CDSs), also known as drug DUI.
We’ll say right now that if you or anyone you know ever thinks you may have had too much to drink, save yourself the trouble of possibly being stopped on the road by a New Jersey state patrol officer or a municipal officer and risk being charged with DWI or DUI.
Recently, we saw a number of DWI and related arrested mentioned in several so-called police blotter columns in the news. These incidents, which occurred in Ocean and Union counties, provided a smattering of the typical kinds of drunken driving arrests that happen on a daily basis all across the state. As drunken driving attorneys, we know how easily a motorist can be tagged by a police officer for what may seem like a minor infraction only to be slapped with a drunk driving charge, maybe even more. Consider the following as object lessons in what not to do, and what to expect should you decide to take a chance with the law.
Based on police reports, an officer pulled over a male driver behind the wheel of a ’95 Toyota after the patrolman noticed the motorist was not wearing his safety belt. While conducting the traffic stop the officer reported that he detected the smell of burnt cannabis coming from within the man’s vehicle. As a result, the officer determined that the driver had marijuana on his person. The officer arrested the 20-year-old and charged him with marijuana possession.
Another arrest occurred in the early morning hours following a report of a car crash in the vicinity of Centennial Ave. and Raritan Rd. As a result of the one-car accident, a traffic signal was hit and put out of commission. The patrolman on the scene found a 26-year-old Winfield, NJ, resident apparently impaired by alcohol. According to news reports, the officer arrested the woman and charged her with DWI and careless driving. She was eventually released pending a court appearance.
Over in Stafford, NJ, township police officers answered a 911 call reporting a two-vehicle collision in the are of Rte 72 at the local Sunoco gas station. Following an investigation it was determined by police that a car owned by a 45-year-old Manahawkin resident was struck from behind as the man was filling the vehicle with gasoline. The driver of the other vehicle, a 25-year-old woman, was operating a late ’90s pickup truck when the crash occurred. According to news articles, the officers in charge found the woman to be intoxicated. She was arrested for DWI. Police also said that the suspect had an outstanding warrant from Bass River
Stafford Police Arrest Woman for DWI after Collision on Route 72, TomsRiverNJOnline.com, September17, 2012
Police Blotter: Cranford Police Make Arrests For Drugs, DWI; Patch.com, September 14, 2012