As most any drunk driving defense attorney will tell you, there are any number of traffic infractions that can open the door to a DWI, drug DUI, or in-vehicle CDS possession charge. Something as simple as making a right on red where it is prohibited can cause a police officer to pull a driver over and issue a traffic citation. If that motorist seems to be in some way impaired, there is a distinct chance that the patrolman may suspect alcohol or drug use, which can result in further investigation.
Being stopped for a basic infraction, therefore, has been known to lead to a motorist being asked to perform one or more field sobriety tests, followed in some cases by a trip to police headquarters for a Breathalyzer test and possible booking on drunk driving charges. It’s those simple driving rules that can trip up most any driver at just the wrong time. Here in the Garden State, the police are constantly on the lookout for motorists who make the most basic of driving errors — once a local patrolman or state trooper has made a traffic stop, that officer has an opportunity to question the individual and observe any hints of inebriation.
Without a doubt, the process of being stopped by a policeman and investigated following a driving infraction or equipment violation is not an enjoyable experience. This can be especially true since most any roadside police stop can result in the suspect being taken into custody and charged with impaired driving. As New Jersey DWI attorneys, my legal staff is aware of the pitfalls that await any motorist who may have had a drink before being pulled over.
As one might guess, holidays and times of seasonal celebrations — New Years and St. Paddy’s Day come immediately to mind — mean that state and municipal police are typically out in force during these times. Any driver who is observed having a difficult time maintaining his or her lane, or making a simple mistake such as an illegal U-turn or rolling past a stop sign, could find himself on the receiving end of a drunken driving summons.
For the most part, there are a number of traffic offenses that are well known to be triggers for a police stop. Take, for instance, the commonly sighted “No Turn on Red” signs posted at many intersections throughout New Jersey. According to New Jersey traffic law (specifically 39:4-115), drivers have the right to make a right turn on a red light once the motorist’s vehicle comes to a complete stop and the driver checks for oncoming traffic.
Even after a full stop, all drivers must by law yield to any oncoming traffic — as well as pedestrians in the vicinity — before completing a right on red turn. Because there are numerous opportunities for driver error involving the right-on-red law — such as not seeing a bicycle, motorcycle, or other hard-to-see vehicle that has the green light — the chances of being cited for some infraction at a controlled intersection can be quite high.
As Garden State DWI-DUI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I know how easily a people can find themselves charged with a traffic offense. Similarly, being issued a summons for drinking and driving is much more common following a basic moving violation than many people may imagine. While nobody is perfect, it is wise to remember that serious penalties can result from the mildest of infractions when alcohol or prescription drugs are involved. Keeping this in mind may help some motorist in the future avoid an embarrassing and often costly error on a nEw Jersey roadway.
Gloucester Township Police Traffic Safety Tip: No Turn on Red; Patch.com; February 9, 2014