Monmouth County Drunk Driving News: Teens’ Car Strikes Police Car at DWI Checkpoint, Officer Injured

There are always a few things that you don’t want to happen when it comes to driving drunk here in the Garden State. First, underage drinking (and even underage possession of alcohol) should be avoided since it can affect a youngster’s future without him or her even knowing it. Second, if one is bound and determined to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or prescription medication (drug DUI), don’t hit a police patrol car or injure an officer while you’re at it.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, I and my staff of experienced drunken driving attorneys understand that kids experiment with all manner of things and activities. Some are harmless, some simply embarrassing; but drinking and driving as a minor can put a real dent in one’s future. Of course, teenagers are not always receptive to this message, so it really goes out to all the parents.

This warning applies to families all across the state. Whether you live in Atlantic, Sussex, Ocean or Passaic County, DWI and drug DUI can be costly, not only financially but in terms of being potentially damaging to one’s social standing and career prospects as well. For teens, an arrest for DWI or drug DUI can affect individuals in their adult years as well, which makes it advisable to contact a qualified drunk driving defense attorney to better understand the charges against your underage son or daughter.

Earlier this month, two teenagers ended up in trouble at one of the many roadside DWI checkpoints that appear from time to time across the state. This one, in Monmouth County, was about to go into operation by the Holmdel police. According to news reports, police were setting up the roadblock when the incident occurred just before midnight.

Police reports indicate that 18-year-old Jack Wegman of Union Beach was driving a Mercury coupe when it allegedly hit the right-hand side of a police cruiser, injuring one of the officers at the scene of the sobriety checkpoint. News articles stated that the patrol car, which was sitting in one of the southbound lanes of Rte 35, was stationary with its roof-mounted emergency lights activated as the officers placed traffic cones for the roadblock.

Following the crash, police determined that the driver was apparently intoxicated from alcohol; the passenger, 19-year-old Anthony Cocuzza, also of Union Beach, allegedly in possession of a quantity of marijuana and related drug paraphernalia. Both teens were arrested by patrolmen at the scene and transported to police headquarters for processing. The suspect’s vehicle was reportedly impounded by Holmdel police.

As a result of the late-night collision and subsequent arrest, the driver and passenger were both charged with a number of offenses. Wegman was charged by police with reckless driving and DWI, as well as possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle; possession of drug paraphernalia; Possession and being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle, violation of his provisional New Jersey driver’s license (i.e. hours-of-operation violation); improper cellphone use; failure to maintain his lane; failure to yield to an emergency vehicle; plus careless driving.

Cocuzza, as the passenger of the vehicle, was only charged with marijuana possession, possession of related drug paraphernalia, as well as being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). After being processed, both Cocuzzo and Wegman were released pending separate appearances in court for their individual charges.

Officer injured when car strikes cruiser at DWI checkpoint in Holmdel,, October 8, 2011

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