Numerous police arrests are made every day across the Garden State against drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or some other intoxicated substance. While a fair percentage of these DWI and drug DUI arrests are perhaps warranted, many others are based on less than substantial evidence. As a former municipal prosecutor here in New Jersey, and now as a drunken driving defense attorney, I find that a percentage of motorists charged with drunk driving will not be found guilty, or will have the charges against them reduced.
While nothing in this world is guaranteed, one thing is certain: if you drive drunk in Jersey long enough, you will be caught at some point, either by the New Jersey State Police or another, local police agency. Please understand that there are severe penalties for drunk driving, drug DUI (such as being impaired by prescription meds or illicit drugs like marijuana and meth) or even breath test refusal.
Of course, the first step is being stopped by a police officer or state trooper. After this, the actual DWI or DUI arrest process may begin in earnest. Every week the news carries updates on local police arrests, much of which can be instructive regarding the typical circumstances that can surround a drunk driving arrest. The following items from Bergen County, NJ, are fairly typical of the kinds of DWI police stops that happen daily. While every drunken driving arrest is unique, most every one begins with a traffic stop by an officer of the law.
Responding to a report of an apparent single-vehicle traffic accident on a Saturday, Elmwood patrolmen arrived at the scene of a car crash to find a 39-year-old local resident behind the wheel of his vehicle. Officers interrogated the driver and determined that he was apparently under the influence of alcohol. In addition to other traffic infractions, the man was also charged with DWI, as well as careless driving.
The following day, an officer on routine patrol observed what he described as a vehicle being driven erratically. After pulling the car over, the patrolman detected evidence that the 29-year-old Hackensack, NJ, resident was apparently drunk. The suspect was arrested and charged with alcohol DUI and reckless driving, among other violations.
Later that same day, a 21-year-old local man was arrested by an Elmwood Park police officer after the patrolman reportedly observed a vehicle being operated in a careless manner. The officer pulled the vehicle over and, following a brief interview with the motorist, determined that the man was impaired by alcohol. He was taken into custody and charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence, as well as reckless driving and other traffic offenses.
Several other drivers have also been arrested in the Elmwood Park area for DWI and DUI-related offenses, including a 51-year-old local resident; a 62-year-old driver from Paramus, who was stopped along a stretch of Rte 46; a Prospect Park resident in his 30s who was charged with DWI; a 37-year-old man from Hackensack, NJ, stopped along a stretch of Broadway and arrested on charges of DWI; as well as an underage Clifton, NJ, driver, just 19 years old, who was picked up for underage drinking and driving.
Elmwood Park police blotter, NorthJersey.com, March 13, 2012
Elmwood Park Police Department announces DWI arrests, NorthJersey.com, February 2, 2012