If a person is charged with a DWI crime in New Jersey, the State must prove each element of the alleged offense to obtain a conviction. In other words, the State must not only prove that the defendant was impaired due to the ingestion of alcohol, but also that the defendant was operating a vehicle while he or she was impaired. Recently, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence of the operation of a vehicle to obtain a DWI conviction. If you reside in New Jersey and are currently charged with a DWI crime, it is advisable to meet with a capable New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss what evidence the State may introduce against you.
Facts Surrounding the Defendant’s Arrest
It is reported that the police were called to check on a suspicious vehicle parked in a residential area. Upon arriving on the scene, the police observed the defendant was asleep in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. The police woke the defendant up and questioned him regarding where he was that evening. The defendant stated that he was at a birthday party for his brother and became tired on the way home, so he pulled over and fell asleep. The defendant admitted to consuming one glass of wine.
Allegedly, the defendant submitted to field sobriety testing, which he failed. He was subsequently arrested and taken to the police station, where he was given a breathalyzer test. The test showed that the defendant’s BAC was 0.08%. The defendant was charged with and convicted of DWI. He appealed, arguing in part that the trial court committed an error in finding beyond a reasonable doubt that he operated his vehicle while intoxicated. Continue reading