Being at odds with the police may seem like a situation that no one really should invite, but it is not uncommon for drunken driving subjects to be aggressive or simply argumentative with police, which may seem surprising considering the potential downside of being uncooperative or belligerent during a roadside DWI or drug DUI stop. Simply put, it is never a wise idea to challenge the authority of a state trooper or even a municipal patrolman when facing a potential drunk driving charge.
As Garden State DWI-DUI defense attorneys, my legal team regularly defends individuals accused of operating a motor vehicle on New Jersey roadways while intoxicated by alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Every person accused of a crime or serious traffic offense, such as drunken driving or drug possession in a motor vehicle, deserves to have his or her day in court. Providing a proper and effective legal defense is the job of my firm, especially in cases of driving while intoxicated.
While hindsight is certainly 20-20, advice after the fact is rarely helpful to the individual already charged with an offense; however, when the topic comes up, if a friend, relative or acquaintance asks for any tips on how to alleviate the effects of a DWI traffic stop, we can only remind people that not much is ever gained from complicating an arrest by fighting either verbally or physically with a law enforcement officer.
Aside from the normal and often-stated public safety warnings regarding driving while impaired (either by beer, wine, hard liquor or prescription drugs) the ever-more strict penalties — and social stigma — attached to a DWI or drug DUI conviction should be motivation enough for people not to tempt fate. Here in the Garden State, the act of driving under the influence has gradually become much less acceptable over the past few decades.
Yet, regardless of the obvious negative effects of a potential drunk driving conviction, individuals all across the state find themselves in the same situation week in and week out. For those who are less reserved during this kind of event, the emotional outbursts or physical demonstrations against the arresting officers can make an already bad situation much more unpleasant. Take, for instance, the story of a New Jersey driver who allegedly hit patrol car while intoxicated and then tried to evade police immediately afterward.
According to news reports, the incident took place along a stretch of Rte 70 in the Cherry Hill area. Based on police statements, a patrolman was conduction an early morning traffic stop when another vehicle struck the officer’s vehicle and then left the scene. Based on the news article, the crash happened near the intersection of West Gate Dr. The officer was apparently standing outside of his cruiser when a Toyota Solara driven by a 49-year-old Marlton, NJ, resident hit the police car and then drove away.
The officer gave chase and eventually caught the driver near the crossroads of Rte 70 and Wexford Rd. A case of potential vehicular assault coupled with a charge of drunken driving could lead to some serious penalties for any defendant. Depending on the circumstances, adding an eluding charge only complicates a driver’s defense. All of this makes it very important to retain a qualified defense lawyer who has experience defending motorists charged with DWI or DUI.
As every driver should be aware, New Jersey’s “Move Over Law” was created to reduce the instances of collisions with emergency vehicles and police cars on our highways and interstates. When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle or authorized tow truck, highway maintenance or emergency services vehicle, a drivers are required to safely move over to another lane, or slow down below the posted speed limit in order to safely pass by the scene of the emergency or police stop. Keeping this in mind will perhaps help other drivers from getting into an accident situation that may or may not include a drunken driving offense.
Motorist faces charges after hitting police cruiser on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, SunNe.ws, February 11, 2014