Essex County Drunken Driving News: Summer Still the “High Time” for DWI and Drug DUI Arrests

As DWI attorneys representing New Jersey motorists and other individuals charged with one of many drunk driving or drug DUI offenses, my legal team has decades of collective courtroom experience defending drivers accused of driving a car, truck or motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance (CDS).

Although we defend people who have been hit with a drunken or impaired driving summons, as motorists ourselves we are generally happy to know that state and local law enforcement officers work hard each day to maintain safety on Garden State roadways. However, though we commend the hard work of the law enforcement community for keeping our cities, towns and local communities safe from criminals and other more dangerous individuals, we do reserve the right to challenge the actions of some police officers and state troopers.

As a former municipal prosecuting attorney myself, I understand the extreme pressure that policemen find themselves under from one day to the next. So we are never truly surprised when we see, from time to time, the results of unjustified or groundless drunken driving arrests. From our extensive experience, I and my experienced team of DWI-DUI defense lawyers understand that a certain percentage of drunk driving arrests do not result in a DWI conviction. That’s a fact.

Since summertime is a time of vacations and family outings, it is not uncommon for some individuals to have one too many drinks before hitting the road. How many people are seriously inebriated before getting behind the wheel during the warmer months is arguable, however this season tends to result in an increase in anti-drunk driving enforcement.

Take, for instance, the nationwide “Click It or Ticket” traffic enforcement campaign that took place in June of this year. Towns like Milburn, NJ, receive an injection of funding to get more police officers onto the streets during these kinds of campaigns. And, although the focus may appear to be on seatbelt use, there is always opportunity for motorists of most any stripe to be snared by a roving patrol or roadside sobriety checkpoint and issued a DWI summons.

In addition to those individuals picked up not wearing their seatbelt or using a hand-held cellphone, there are inevitably some otherwise law-abiding drivers who are accused of being drunk behind the wheel following a routine traffic stop. Back at the beginning of the summer, many New Jersey motorists likely saw a large number of patrolmen on the lookout for drunken drivers during a two-week period in late May.

As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, my legal staff has the training and experience to take on most any alcohol- or drug-related traffic offense. For those wondering if the Click It or Ticket effort is a legitimate enterprise, we would point to statistics quoted in local newspapers at the time, which indicate that only 36 percent of adult rear-seat passengers wear their seatbelt.

In counties all around the Garden State, such as Essex, Bergen, Monmouth and Atlantic, drunk driving arrests pepper the rolls at local police departments like that in Milburn. Earlier this year, while on patrol for seatbelt use, officers also arrested three motorists for drunken driving, six people for operating a motor vehicle while on a suspended license and numerous other non-seatbelt-related offenses.

The bottom line is that when it comes to most any kind of traffic enforcement campaign or other motor vehicle safety policing program, the opportunity for arrests involving alcohol- or prescription drug-related driving offenses can be significant. And, as summer is hardly finished on the Jersey Shore, consider the consequences of sliding behind the wheel after having any amount of beer, wine or hard liquor.

Millburn PD Cracks Down on Seat-Belt Violations, Patch.com, May 21, 2013
Hundreds of N.J. towns to crack down on drivers not wearing seat belts, NJ.com, May 17, 2013