Could there be more than a few better avenues for fighting a drunken driving charge besides fleeing the police at the time of a DWI traffic stop? The answer to that question, as absurd as it may seem, is naturally, Yes. As New Jersey DWI and drug DUI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I believe that employing the law in one’s defense is surely a more rational approach to avoiding a drunk driving conviction than doing anything as rash as running from the police during a traffic stop or following a roadway accident.
Regardless of the perceived downside to being charged with intoxicated driving, we must repeat that the law provides avenues for those individuals accused of drinking and driving, which have relative benefits far in excess of unlawful and often dangerous hijinks on the road. Case in point, a news article that was published not too long ago regarding a Garden State man who, it would seem, felt that running from patrolmen during a routine traffic stop would save him from being arrested for DWI. Unfortunately, as these things often play out, the result was likely worse it had to be given the limited information in the report we read.
Nevertheless, according to police reports, a 62-year-old Barrington, NJ, motorist was in Gloucester County driving on a stretch of E. High St. in Glassboro when he was stopped by local police just before midnight. The traffic stop was part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” anti-DWI program launched to coincide with the end of summer, culminating during this past Labor Day weekend.
Based on news articles, the man brought his vehicle to a stop, however he then allegedly drove away from the area, essentially fleeing the officers. Following a brief police chase through several residential areas near Rowan University, the driver apparently lost control of his vehicle along Rte 322, leaving the roadway and hitting one of the university’s signs near the Campus Crossing complex. Police said that the accident happened after the motorist’s vehicle failing to negotiate a turn at Lehigh Rd.
As a result of the police pursuit and subsequent wreck, the drivers was arrested by police and charged with DWI, as well as eluding police, operating a motor vehicle on a suspended license (apparently from a previous DWI conviction) and possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a vehicle. Being unable to post full cash bail of $25,000, the driver was placed in the Salem County Jail pending trial.
We would add here that although this individual had a number of strikes against him, the CDS possession charge and driving on a suspended license in particular, running from law enforcement really isn’t a viable alternative to fighting those charges with the help of a qualified attorney. The fact is few successful scenarios, if any, would involve attempting an unlawful act as a remedy to an already troublesome legal problem.
Drunk driver flees DWI stop in Glassboro, crashes car, say police; NJ.com; August 31, 2014