New Jersey DWI law provides for a variety of increasingly stiff penalties for those motorists who find themselves convicted of driving while intoxicated. As Garden State drunk driving defense attorneys, our job is to represent individuals who have been charged with DWI or drug DUI, as well as those who have refused a breathalyzer test or been accused of drug possession in a motor vehicle.
For first-time drunk driving offenders, a conviction can come with significant penalties that can affect the driver in numerous ways. Fines for a first offense can run from $250 to $400, depending on the amount of alcohol in one’s bloodstream at the time of the arrest (this blood-alcohol content (BAC) can range between 0.08 and 0.10 percent. It should be remembered that these fines will increase to between $300 to $500, if the defendant’s BAC was measured at more than 0.10 percent. And this would be the “good news.”
The bad news is that offenders convicted for a third or subsequent time can not only lose their driver’s license for 10 years, but can be assessed fines in the thousands of dollars. Given the severity of penalties for third and subsequent offenses, we believe that representation by an experienced DWI defense attorney is in a defendant’s best interest. Sometimes the challenge is quite great, such as in the case of an individual we read about a while back who was convicted a sixth time for DWI by a Cumberland County court.
According to news reports, 46-year-old Anderson Sotomayor reportedly was charged with six separate DWI offenses over a span of less than three months, from April 9 to June 28, 2012. Mr. Sotomayor’s 2012 arrest history included police stops on April 9, 11 and 25, as well as May 12 and 16. Based on police reports, the first instance involved a collision with a police patrol car, while just two days later the man allegedly hit a utility pole.
A couple weeks later, on April 25, 2012, police officers reportedly observed the man swerving in the street. After making a traffic stop, the officers apparently found an empty 40-ounce bottle of beer in his vehicle. The following month, police stated that Mr. Sotomayor was observed driving his vehicle in the wrong direction on a one-way street, after which he allegedly struck a curb and left the roadway; that was May 12, 2012.
Just days later, on May 16, according to news articles, the man was seen swerving out of his lane. Once he was pulled over, police reported that Mr. Sotomayor refused a breathalyzer test (apparently making things worse for himself, the man reportedly admitted to using Oxycodone before that incident). Preceding all of these episodes, Sotomayor was reportedly arrested on April 2 when a police officer stated that the man ran through a stop sign and hit a school bus as it unloaded kids; he allegedly fled the scene before police arrived, but was arrested a short time later.
Having never gone before a judge in the two months prior to his latest hearing, the southern New Jersey resident had his driving privileges revoked for a total of 12 years (it is important to note that he had been banned for driving for 33 years back in 2012 by a different judge). In addition to those suspensions, Mr. Sotomayor was ordered to serve a year in county jail following a guilty plea on a charge of cocaine possession and contempt of court.
Vineland’s Sotomayor, with six drunken-driving arrests in 3 months, loses license for 12.5 years; PressOfAtlanticCity.com; September 14, 2013
Man With 6 DWIs Loses License for 12 Years, NBCPhiladelphia.com, September 14, 2013