Here in New Jersey, drunk driving arrests happen on a daily basis. Many times these incidents begin with a routine traffic stop for a sometimes minor traffic violation but soon turn into a full-blown DWI situation. Instances of motor vehicle accidents can also lead to a driver being slapped with a summons for driving under the influence of alcohol.
As a New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyer, my firm represents individuals who have been accused by state or local police of driving while intoxicated. A look at the local news shows a sampling of DWI arrests in the Bergen County area, which illustrate the typical kinds of traffic stops that lead to possible drunk driving charges and convictions.
One such stop occurred on a Monday evening when a concerned motorist called police on her cell phone to reports a possible drunken driver ahead of her on West Paterson Avenue in East Rutherford, NJ. Police responding to the call came upon a vehicle at the intersection of Paterson and Main. A 43-year-old man was in the vehicle seated in what police described as “a fully reclined position” and apparently asleep.
Waking up the out-of-state driver to request the man’s paperwork, officers reported that they detected the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath. Suspecting that he was intoxicated, police had the man perform a number of field sobriety tests, which he reportedly failed. At that point, the officers arrested the man and charged him with DWI.
On another occasion, a patrolman going eastbound on Route 3 watched as another car passed him in the center lane and then reportedly swerved between the lane demarcations. The officer noted that the suspect vehicle nearly struck another motor vehicle at that time. Driving another 500 yards, the vehicle was observed pulling over in the right lane. The officer then called to the man via his patrol car’s PA system and told him to move his car.
Pulling the driver over into a nearby gas station, the officer asked the driver to exit the vehicle and perform several field sobriety tests. Failing those tests, the 45-year-old Rutherford resident arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Consequently, he was also charged with driving on a suspended license, careless driving, failure to maintain his lane and obstructing passage of other motor vehicles.
Finally, at 10pm on a week night, police officers in Lyndhurst responded to a report of a traffic accident along a stretch of Wall Street West. Apparently a car was seen partially off the roadway, almost at the top of a grassy medium strip. The female driver, whose forehead was observed bloodied, was questioned by police. She reportedly admitted to having too much to drink.
Police interviewed a witness who recounted that the suspect vehicle was seen speeding and then crashing head-on into a guard rail at the ramps to eastbound and westbound Route 3. The 37-year-old suspect, a Lyndhurst resident, was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. Police subsequently charged her with DWI, careless driving and failure to exhibit her insurance documents.
BURGLARY/THEFT DWI weapons, NorthJersey.com, September 1, 2010