Drunk driving in New Jersey is punishable by fines and jail time. Monetary costs for being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands (not including increased insurance premiums as a DWI offender). Jail time, when stipulated, can be as much as sic months for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. You can also lose your license for upward of three years, which could impact your ability to get to a job or meet family obligations.
In Monmouth County, like that of Bergen, Ocean, Mercer and other counties around New Jersey, the police and the courts frown on motorists who flaunt the law. Whether you are found guilty depends on your choice of counsel and the extent of the drunken driving charges against. As a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer and former municipal prosecutor, I know when to fight and when to negotiate.
In Hudson County recently, two individuals were arrested by police in separate instances involving alleged alcohol-impaired motor vehicle operation. According to reports, Bayonne police responded to a car that hit two other parked vehicles on Avenue A near midnight on a Friday.
Based on police statements, 52-year-old John Mendola had allegedly hit the cars, then got out of his vehicle and began walking away. Officers arriving at the scene spotted Mendola about 30 feet away when witnesses pointed him out to the police. Approaching him, police said that they detected the strong odor of alcohol on the man’s breath.
Officers asked the suspect to perform several field sobriety tests, which he reportedly failed on the spot. Mendola was charged with DWI and was then taken to a local hospital due to his drunken state, according to police.
Two days later, a 39-year-old woman was observed speeding in the early morning hours by the police. Officers pulled over the driver, Andrea Smith, at 38th Street and Broadway. Smith allegedly had the strong odor of alcohol on her breath, police reports showed, as well as slurred speech and what police described as glassy eyes.
Officers also discovered what they believed to be the cap of an alcoholic beverage container in her purse and soon found a bottle of brandy as well. The woman, who also had an outstanding warrant out of Newark, NJ, was charged with driving while intoxicated. She was released on a summons.
Two drivers facing DWI charges in Bayonne, NJ.com, March 23, 2010