This being the Garden State it is not unusual to read about dozens of drunk driving arrests and drug-related DUI cases emanating any particular portion of the state. Certainly, Essex County is only one of a dozen or so jurisdictions that see concentrations of heavy DWI patrols and roadside sobriety checkpoint activities from time to time. As skilled DWI-DUI defense lawyers, the attorneys are the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are familiar with the potential volume of drunken driving cases moving through our state’s court system every month.
When considering cause and effect, it can be stated with a fair amount of certainty that an increase in anti-DWI and drug-DUI enforcement can have a direct impact on the number of drunken driving arrests in any one area, and as a result, more drunken driving cases in municipal courtrooms throughout these areas. We take no joy in the increased incidence of drunken driving, regardless of the reasons, but we are aware that a percentage of DWI arrests are based on weak or insufficient evidence.
In towns and cities all around New Jersey, the summertime driving season brings with it the promise of increased drunk driving patrols and other traffic safety enforcement efforts. Being DWI defense attorneys, I and my staff of experienced DWI lawyers fully understand how some drunk driving arrests may either be unwarranted or faulty in some way, shape or form. This is why we also recommend that any driver accused of DWI or drug DUI should, at the very least, consult a qualified DWI lawyer to better understand his or her options going forward.
Crackdowns on seatbelt use, cell- and smartphone texting, as well as more typical traffic safety enforcement campaigns can all contribute to increases in drunk driving arrests, if only due to the frequency and saturation of these mobile police patrols. Towns like Montclair and Milburn are just a couple of examples where enhanced police patrols can start up with the intent to fine those drivers who do not buckle up or who drive carelessly, yet result in netting others who may or may not have had too much to drink prior to a more or less routine police stop.
As an example, the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign was in full force this past May in counties like Essex where Millburn police officers kept a vigilant eye on scofflaws who drove without their safety belts on. That particular effort ran from late May through the first couple days in June. While billed as a campaign to educate drivers and passengers about the importance of wearing seatbelts, it would not come as a surprise to see that fines and arrests for all manner of traffic infractions and motor vehicle offenses was the norm; and among them, alcohol-related summonses and arrests for drug DUI as well.
According to news reports, the 2012 “Click it or Ticket” campaign in the Milburn area resulted in the arrest of three individuals who were subsequently charged with DWI, as well as two felony arrests, a stolen vehicle incident, and six instances of drivers operating a vehicle on a suspended suspended license, not to mention a handful of other offenses.
Last year, as a group, the participating police agencies in Essex County generated 1,600 seatbelt-related citations, as well as 33 drunken driving arrests, 15 recovered stolen vehicles, and 206 speeding tickets.
Buckle up those seatbelts, say Millburn police; NorthJersey.com; May 23, 2013
Montclair: Buckle up! Seat-belt enforcement effort through June 2; NorthJersey.com; May 24, 2013