Most people will never end up in a situation where fleeing from the law becomes a perceived option, but it is not unheard of to see the results of a police chase end with an arrest for drunken driving. While alcohol may reduce an individual’s ability to safely control a motor vehicle, it can also reduce one’s inhibitions. As local and state police officers already know, a truly intoxicated driver can often make decisions that most people would usually think twice about.
As Garden State DWI and drug DUI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I are often called upon to assist accused drunk drivers. Many of these individuals believe that they were unjustly charged with a serious drunken driving offense by a law enforcement officer. While some people may choose not to fight a DWI-DUI summons, others believe that they deserve the right to state their case in a court of law. For a smaller percentage, the choice of retaining a qualified trial lawyer may be driven by other, even more serious concerns.
Fleeing a patrolman can often complicate one’s DWI defense, if only for the reason that high-speed chases increase the opportunity for bodily injury, not only to the driver himself, but to the officers and bystanders who may be caught up in a potential traffic accident as a result. New stories like the one we read just last month point up that fact that these types of incidents can and do occur here in New Jersey from time to time. In this particular instance, the subject of the chase was an out-of-state man who allegedly stole the vehicle he was driving.
According to reports, the police chase began in the Linden, NJ, area and proceeded through Rahway and Woodbridge, in Middlesex County. Based on news articles, the 29-year-old Iowa resident was operating a 2005 Toyota 4Runner, which police believed had been stolen sometime after 1am on a Monday morning. After being alerted that a motor vehicle had been reported stolen in the New York area, police tracked the vehicle, which was reportedly equipped with a Lojack system.
New reports indicated that a patrolman observed what he believed to be the suspect vehicle traveling along a portion of East Elizabeth Ave. in Linden. The officer pursued the vehicle into Rahway, according to the news article, after which more police joined the chase. After briefly losing sight of the stolen SUV in the Woodbridge area, officers were alerted that the vehicle had hit a utility pole on West Edgar Rd.
The chase continued until the suspect turned into a parking lot in Rahway, were the driver reportedly exited and attempted to flee on foot. The suspect was taken into custody in short order by officers. Eventually the man was charged with a number of serious criminal offenses, as well as DWI, eluding police and reckless driving. Bail was set by the court $200,000 as the suspect awaited a hearing in the local jail.
Iowa man arrested after police chase through Linden, Rahway and Woodbridge; NJ.com; April 7, 2014