Well it is true that here in New Jersey, many drivers are all too familiar with the seemingly ever-present police patrols on our highways and surface streets. And while few law-abiding citizens would complain about the benefits of having a well-policed and safe society, from the standpoint of potential erroneous drunken driving arrests or drug DUI charges based on insufficient or improperly gained evidence, many people might be thinking enough is enough.
The fact of the matter is that New Jersey law enforcement authorities frequently receive funding for anti-drunken driving campaigns when certain seasons roll around. As motorists ourselves, we are happy to have safer roadways, but this sometimes comes at the expense of innocent individuals accused of an illegal act such as driving while intoxicated or operating a motor vehicle while impaired by prescription medications.
As Garden State DWI and drug DUI defense attorneys, my legal team understands how easily a motorist can end up being stopped for a simple traffic infraction only to find herself being taken to police headquarters for a breath test and possible incarceration for the night. Any time a motorist is stopped by a police officer, the stress of such an event can cause nervousness and an overall unsettled feeling. It’s no surprise that many people are suspected of being intoxicated simply on the basis of their nervous mannerisms during such a potentially intimidating experience.
Around the end of the year, it is not uncommon to see a great deal more accused DWI and DUI offenders filing into municipal courtrooms all around the state. This is often a result of increased police activity as anti-DWI campaigns direct additional funds to state and local law enforcement departments for more manpower and increased drunk driving patrols and DWI roadblocks.
Case in point, the upcoming holiday season. According to news reports, the latest drunken driving campaign known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is hitting all manner of towns and cities throughout the Garden State. The article we caught a short while ago names the Caldwells as one area that will see enhanced DWI patrols and other enforcement efforts going into the New Year.
Based on the news, the Caldwell PD will be participating in the latest campaign, which began just last Friday and will continue until the January 2. Caldwell and other communities in Essex County will get a portion of federal funds, directed through New Jersey’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety to help offset the increased number of officers participating in the county’s saturation patrols and drunk driving checkpoints.
While billed as a way to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving, it is the high-visibility enforcement that ends up catching dozens of motorists who inadvertently make a bad driving decision. From illegal turns, improper lane changes and rolling stops to broken tail lamps and cracked windshields, many otherwise law-abiding drivers will be stopped for a basic traffic offense and possibly arrested for driving drunk. At this point, we will say that it is always a good idea to consult with a qualified DWI defense attorney before walking into a courtroom to plead one’s case in front of a judge.
These seasonal anti-DWI campaigns have been around for more than a decade, yet it is surprising how many motorists are still arrested for DWI and drug DUI each year. Police all across the state advise the public that if anyone plans to drink during the holidays, to designate a sober driver to help them get home. Authorities also suggest taking mass transit or spending the night where the activity took place, which we might add might not work out so well at bars and restaurants.
‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Campaign Comes to Caldwells, Patch.com, November 24, 2013