Travel through any county in the Garden State and you will likely find that the police in local communities far and wide make a fair number of DWI and DUI arrests every month. Whether you live in Passaic, Essex, Somerset or Mercer County, the stories about drunken and impaired drivers that pop up in the news and on social media are strikingly similar — though they each have their own unique aspects, circumstances and facts.
It is important to remember that many New Jersey drunk driving arrests begin with a seemingly minor traffic offense — sometimes a very insignificant infraction, yet one that legally gives the police the right to pull the motorist over and investigate further. Such basic offense may include repeatedly crossing over a lane divider, making an improper turn, or even driving with a burned-out tail light.
While that original police stop may have been for a sometimes minor infraction, the patrolman in charge may take note of other evidence pointing to alcohol consumption, drug impairment, or possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Of course, observing an empty bottle of beer or wine cooler can easily trigger a request for the driver to exit the vehicle and take one of more of the standardized field sobriety tests that police officers use to determine intoxication. Furthermore, an officer may detect the odor of alcohol on a motorist’s breath, which can also begin a series of events leading up to a drunken driving arrest.
As skilled New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers, my experienced legal staff has represent hundreds of drivers accused of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, doctor-prescribed meds, and even illicit drugs like meth, cocaine or marijuana. The following is just a small selection of typical police arrests that may be encountered statewide from time to time. Police blotter entries can illustrate the many different types of DWI-DUI arrests that take place all over the Garden State every week of the year.
Patrolmen Make DWI Arrest in Florence, NJ
A 43-year-old Trenton, NJ, man was taken into custody by Florence municipal police in mid-August and charged with DWI. According to news reports, the driver was apparently pulled over after police observed him having a difficult time maintaining his lane. In addition to the drunken driving offense, the man was charged with operating a motor vehicle absent a driver’s license.
Florence police also pulled over a vehicle being driven by a 20-year-old out-of-state motorist, charging the individual with marijuana possession in a motor vehicle. Police reports indicated that the Delaware man was stopped along a stretch of Rte 130 late on a Saturday evening. It would appear that a contempt of court warrant from the Vineland City PD triggered the police stop, after which evidence of pot resulted in the possession charge.
Several hours later the next morning, also on Route 130, police took a 28-year-old man into custody on charges of DWI and other offenses. The driver, from the Delanco area, was pulled around 5:30am on a Sunday morning apparently for a traffic offense. Police subsequently charged the motorist with drunken driving, having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, failure obey a traffic control signal, delay of traffic, and failure to produce valid automobile insurance information.
Mansfield Twp. Police Officers Arrest New Jersey Drivers on Pot Charges
During a mobile vehicle inspection detail, police observed one vehicle in particular that had a non-moving violation, after which an officer asked the 58-year-old driver to pull into an adjacent parking area. During the interview with the driver, the officer reportedly detected the smell of marijuana emanating from the man’s vehicle. The officer in charge asked the driver to exit the vehicle. In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the motorist had an amount of weed on his person. He was subsequently taken into custody and charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and then released pending a hearing date.
In another unrelated incident, a 23-year-old man from Bordentown, NJ, was stopped by police as he was walking along a stretch of Rte 130. During that police stop, according to news reports, the officer in charge determined that suspect was wanted on various warrants. Taken into custody, a search of the man’s person revealed that he was in possession of some amount of marijuana, for which he was charged with CDS possession. After posting bail, he was subsequently released pending court dates.
On a Wednesday afternoon, local police stopped a vehicle following what seems to have been a random license plate check, which police reports indicated that the 25-year-old owner of the vehicle was on a suspended license, and had an outstanding traffic warrant. As a result of the police stop, the officer in charge reportedly observed a plastic bag containing what looked to be marijuana laying in plain view inside the vehicle. The driver, a Millville resident, was subsequently taken into custody while his vehicle was searched for any additional drugs. The police search revealed some drug paraphernalia. The man was charged with pot possession and having drug paraphernalia.
In another incident, Mansfield police stopped a car traveling on Rte 206 after reportedly observing a moving violation around 8:30 on a Tuesday evening. During the police stop, it was discovered that the 24-year-old female driver had the odor of an alcoholic beverage on her breath. The moan was taken into custody and later charged with DWI, plus a number of other motor vehicle violations. She was later released once a friend arrived to take her home.
POLICE BLOTTER, CentralJersey.com, August 27, 2014