New Jersey DWI Defense Update: More Sobriety Checkpoints Expected across the Garden State

Any time a driver is pulled over by the police, the episode can certainly be an unsettling and even an intimidating experience to the individual behind the wheel. The mere presence of a patrolman at one’s driver’s side window can result in a person looking nervous and perhaps even acting out of character. Becoming flustered in front of a law enforcement officer, especially for the average law-abiding citizen, is not unheard of.

Because the typical driver has on only rare occasions the chance to interaction with an authority figure such as a municipal cop or state trooper, there can be a range of potential explanations for why a driver appears to be anxious, confused or disturbed during a traffic stop; espesically one that may be rapidly turning into a potential drunken driving stop. As DWI-DUI defense attorneys, we know that certain mannerisms coupled with other, so-called evidence of alcohol consumption can easily lead to a DWI arrest.

As New Jersey drunk driving attorneys and experienced trial lawyers, my colleagues and I know just how quickly things can go south for an individual who may have had a drink or two before heading home from a restaurant or friend’s home. Once stopped for a traffic violation, a driver may find himself accused of driving under the influence of beer, wine or hard liquor, or occasionally drug DUI if that individual is taking doctor-prescribed medications that may have interacted unexpectedly with each other.

Naturally, being stopped by a roving patrol in counties like Bergen, Monmouth, Atlantic or Ocean is what one might call an occupational hazard. But there are numerous opportunities every month of being flagged over at one of the many random sobriety checkpoints erected every weekend and during holidays all across the Garden State.

While many drivers may well be familiar with the often obvious presence of police road patrols, or those so-called saturation patrols that occur from time to time during the holidays or certain seasonal periods during the year, coming upon a roadside DWI checkpoint may be a new and surprising experience for many. Whether coming home from a quiet evening at a friend’s home or after a celebration at a local restaurant with family or coworkers, if alcohol was consumed, there is always a chance of being picked up for DWI.

Recent news articles remind us that many jurisdictions from all around the state that will see DWI-DUI roadblocks in the coming months. Thanks in part to a $100,000 government grant from the State of New Jersey, Gloucester County will likely be applying additional manpower to drunk driving prevention in 2014. According to the new item we read, DWI-DUI checkpoints in Gloucester County will be on the rise not only in the New Year, but also in the weeks and months preceding it.

Based on news reports, a new pilot program in cooperation with the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety will result in additional sobriety checkpoints and highway patrols throughout Gloucester County. This newest arrangement with the state will allow smaller police departments within the county to receive a portion of the grant money to fund police overtime for work on roadside sobriety roadblocks. For drivers passing through Gloucester communities, this means a possible increase in the number of traffic stops around Christmas time and New Year’s, as well as the Labor Day holiday in 2014. It is expected that the county will spend on the order of about $30,000 for additional manpower from December 7 through January 2.

Meanwhile, a sobriety checkpoint is apparently set for the area of Millington, NJ, in Morris County tonight. Based on the posting we ran across a couple days ago, Long Hill Twp. police will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint from 10pm tonight until 2am on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day morning. The checkpoint will reportedly be set up in the vicinity of Valley Rd. and Rolling Hill Dr. in Millington.

The message accompanying this particular campaign in Millington is, “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” We can only advise to use caution when traveling in this area, as road blocks of this type are set up based on the higher incidence of DWI arrests in a particular geographic area. Therefore, the odds of running across a potentially inebriated motorist could be greater in this neck of the woods than elsewhere, assuming that the official statistics are accurate.

Gloucester County Gets $100K in Drunk Driving Prevention Funds, Patch.com, November 25, 2013
‘Sobriety checkpoint’ set for Millington Wednesday, NewJerseyHills.com, November 22, 2013