Having defended a great many individuals accused of DWI throughout the years, the attorneys at our firm realize that nobody is immune to what is often referred to as the “long arm of the law.” Especially where traffic enforcement is concerned, patrolmen are usually quite vigilant when it comes to spotting erratic driving behavior on Garden State roadways. And if a motorist is found to have been drunk behind the wheel, the law does not discriminate — fines, court fees and increased auto insurance premiums are just a few of the penalties that await someone unlucky enough to be found guilty of DWI.
And, as New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, we are well aware that both young and old are equally likely to be arrested for drunk driving. Although older drivers may have more experience behind the wheel, the intoxicating effects of alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), such as marijuana, cocaine or meth, can make even the most qualified driver less than effective on the road.
With many kinds of traffic offenses, usually the more minor ones however, a motorist’s age and driving history can work in his or her favor. Unfortunately, with the focus on eliminating the dangers of drinking and driving from New Jersey roads, courts are unlikely to give an older, seasoned driver a “pass” when it comes to a drunk driving arrest. A good driving record can be a plus, but depending on the circumstances, penalties both in terms of monetary fines and jail time can still be a significant possibility.
Hiring a skilled DWI lawyer with years of courtroom experience is a good start following an arrest for an alcohol- or drug-related DUI offense. Whether a person avails himself of this assistance is purely personal, but there is no sense in taking chances when one considers the stiff penalties and possible jail time attached to a conviction for DWI.
While both young and old have equally good reasons to avoid a guilty verdict, it is interesting to note that those older individuals accused of DWI or DUI may often be viewed as having enough sense to know better. When one looks at the news pages or online postings of police arrests, there is still a percentage of accused drunken drivers over 50 years old. Take the following three examples that we ran across.
Hackensack Driver,63, Charged with DWI in Fatal Bergen County Crash
According to news articles, an alcohol-related accident in the Hackensack area left an 87-year-old man dead and prosecutors trying to decide if criminal charges would be brought against another local man. The deadly crash occurred along a portion of Prospect Ave. when the accused drunken driver allegedly struck the victim as he drove past in the southbound lane on a Tuesday evening.
Police reports indicated that the crash took place around 7:30pm as the elderly victim was walking in the middle of the street in front of his home. Following the fatal collision, the 63-year-old driver reportedly failed a field sobriety test and was issued a DWI summons. There was apparently a blood-alcohol test performed, however the results were not available at the time of the news article.
Sixty-Seven-Year-Old Driver Cited for Marijuana Possession at Local DWI Checkpoint
As one of two individuals arrested by police during a late-summer sobriety checkpoint, a 67-year-old driver from the Princeton, NJ, area was charged with marijuana possession, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia during a DWI checkpoint operated by Hillsborough police officers. The arrests took place sometime between 10:30pm on a Friday evening and 4am the following Sunday. The DWI roadblock was reportedly erected along a portion of Rte 206 near the intersection of Brown Ave.
Ocean County Motorist, 68, Crashes into Light Pole, Charged with DWI
Responding to a single-vehicle collision along a stretch of Rte 37 early on a Wednesday evening, Toms River patrolmen reportedly found a 68-year-old woman injured in her late model Chevrolet. After emergency responders assisted the woman at the scene, she was taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center for treatment. Later, after being released from the hospital, the driver was charged by police with drunken driving and other traffic-related offenses.
Septuagenarian from North Bergen Charged with Drunken Driving
Responding to a reportedly minor traffic accident on Palisade Ave. near Kamp Pl., officers from the North Bergen Police Department arrested a 73-year-old female driver after she apparently failed a number of field sobriety tests and then blew a 0.16 percent BAC (blood-alcohol content) on a police Breathalyzer.
Officers became aware of the woman’s alleged drunkenness while interviewing each of the drivers involved in the fender-bender accident that took place around 11pm on a Saturday evening. The lady was issued a summons for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and subsequently released pending a court hearing.
DWI charge for driver whose car killed Some’s Uniforms founder, 87; CliffviewPilot.com; October 10, 2013
68 Year Old Holiday City Resident Charged with DWI after Crashing into Utility Pole, OceanCountySignal.com, August 28, 2013
DWI Checkpoint Nabs Two…for Pot; Patch.com; August 26, 2013