DWI Defense Update: Drivers Charged with DWI are Well-advised to Maintain Decorum at Trial

As Garden State DWI-DUI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I strive to help individuals who have been charged with drunken driving or hit with a drug DUI summons, among other alcohol- or drug-related driving offenses. While some people may not understand the importance of preparation prior to a DWI hearing, it is safe to say that most individuals facing some potentially hefty fines and other costs of a possible DWI or DUI conviction will find it important to use discretion when taking part in their drunk driving hearing. Others, sadly, will not.

This last point was illustrated quite clearly after we read of a 47-year-old out-of-state woman who apparently distinguished herself in a less than flattering way when she allegedly showed up to her DWI hearing while she was intoxicated. According to news reports, the Pennsylvania driver had already received a traffic ticket for driving under the influence of alcohol; yet, when she arrived at the courtroom, she was reportedly impaired by alcohol yet again.

Based on the news article we read, the defendant was “highly intoxicated” at the time she arrived by taxi and eventually stepped foot into the office of the district judge for her arraignment on earlier charges of DWI, as well as other related traffic offenses from a police stop in late May this year. The woman was not only reportedly drunk, but an hour late as well, which as anyone can understand would in and of itself be unacceptable barring an extreme circumstance beyond the defendant’s control.

According to the news, the arraignment had been scheduled for 9am, yet police records indicated that the woman arrived a short time 10am. The former New Jersey resident had been accused of DUI, having yielded a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.16 percent on a breathalyzer, according to police. This reading apparently qualified this individual for Pennsylvania’s highest rate of blood-alcohol content. In addition to the first offense DWI charge, the Wilkes-Barre resident also was hit with a drug DUI offense, along with reckless driving and disregarding a traffic lane.

As a result of her drunken court appearance, the defendant was again taken into custody by police officers and issued a summons for public drunkenness, remaining in custody until she sobered up. Based on news articles, the woman was given a new arraignment date, which is scheduled for November 14 at 9:30am. We can only hope that her defense attorney will advise his client to remain on the best possible behavior, if only to improve her chances with the court the next time around.

Police: Woman shows up drunk at her DUI hearing; TimesLeader.com; September 11. 2014