“How could a drunk driving arrest have happened to me? I’ve never been one to drink and drive.” This statement has likely made by thousands of individuals all across the country every year, yet many people do get stopped for traffic violations following a night out on the town, or after a lunch with friends or colleagues, and even following a family barbeque. The fact is, if a person takes a drink of alcohol and then gets behind the wheel, there is always a chance that they may end up charged with drunken driving.
Being DUI-DWI defense lawyers, my firm has represented hundreds upon hundreds of motorists accused of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. There is no safe way to drive a car, truck or motorcycle when one’s motor skills or cognitive ability is compromised by beer or wine, prescription drugs or even illicit substances. Almost anyone who consumes some amount of alcohol before getting behind the wheel can find themselves in front of a judge on drunk driving charges, the consequences of which can be costly and embarrassing.
While many otherwise law-abiding drivers can end up being taken into custody by a police officer after failing a roadside sobriety test, most feel that it couldn’t happen to them. Even those who don’t drink before driving might not realize that certain doctor-prescribed drugs are capable of affecting a person’s ability to control a motor vehicle. And don’t be fooled, DWI arrests can happen to anyone. We were certainly reminded of this when reading a news article a short time ago.
According to reports, a former mayor of Red Bank, NJ, was arrested following a single-vehicle traffic accident last May along a stretch of the Garden State Parkway. Based on information from the Asbury Park Press, the 63-year-old man was headed north on the Parkway in the Tinton Falls area during the late evening hours on May 13 when the crash occurred. According to police reports, the man’s car struck a guardrail, which spun the vehicle 180 degrees before ending up on the opposite shoulder.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash and the driver was not injured. The man’s Mercedes was badly damaged and had to be towed from the crash site. Police arriving on the scene apparently assessed the man’s condition and came to the conclusion that he had been drinking prior to the crash. As a result, he was charged with DWI, as well as reckless driving and unsafe lane change.
The news outlet also reported that the former Red Bank mayor was involved in a DWI-related traffic accident back in 2000 crash, after which he pleaded guilty to careless driving and failure to report a traffic accident. In fact, as early as 2009, authorities reported that the same individual had hit a pedestrian with his car as the person was crossing the street, but it appears that this particular incident was not alcohol- or drug-related.
As a result of this latest accident, the former public official pleaded not guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol. Reports indicate that he was being represented by an attorney, which may have been a wise choice based on the man’s past record. Whenever someone is facing DWI or drug DUI charges, consulting with a qualified drunk driving defense lawyer should be at the top of one’s list of things to do before stepping foot into a courtroom to answer to those charges.
Report: Former Red Bank mayor pleads not guilty to DWI charge; NJ.com; June 11, 2013
Former Red Bank mayor charged with DWI, NJ.com, May 15, 2013