While country music star Toby Keith is playing the PNC Bank Arts Center this Friday evening, the New Jersey State Police will have their own event in progress that night, waiting for intoxicated fans to stop in at a sobriety checkpoint being planned in the area. According to news reports, state troopers will be manning a DWI roadblock in the along a stretch of the Garden State Parkway starting early during the concert and thereafter.
We mention this because here in New Jersey motorists often run across late-night sobriety roadblocks erected by state and local police agencies in order to catch potentially drunk or otherwise impaired individuals. This is in addition to the typical saturation patrols that can take place at certain times of the year when the incidence of drunken driving is known to be higher.
As New Jersey drunk driving defense attorneys, my legal staff knows how easily someone can be caught in a situation where an evening of fun can turn into a legal nightmare. Just a drink or two during an event such as a music concert or sporting event can result in some level of alcohol in one’s bloodstream, which if high enough can result in DWI charges.
When it comes to DWI checkpoints, these commonly used tools of the state police and local municipal cops are often set up in areas with a high rate of DWI arrests. Over in the Holmdel area, near the PNC Arts Center, is apparently a common location for drunk driving. While these checkpoints seem to be a random method police may use to reduce the number of alcohol-related traffic collisions, they must still be announced to the public.
To maintain fairness under the law, state, county and municipal law enforcement authorities must publish the dates, times and locations of sobriety checkpoints and DWI-DUI roadblocks prior to their operation. It is our contention that if the public is aware of the times and locations of these checkpoints, drivers may be more likely to stay away from nearby roadways in order to ensure their own safety and that of their passengers. Because of this, we mention Friday night’s sobriety Checkpoint out in Monmouth County.
According to the public announcement, this particular one will be operating starting at 8pm and manned by state troopers. They will reportedly be stopping motor vehicles entering the southbound lanes of the GSP at the PNC Arts Center, which will be hosting Toby Keith that evening. It is unknown whether trooper will again be flagging vehicles over the next evening when the bands of Kiss and Def Leppard are booked to appear. In any case, it may be wise to avoid drinking alcohol before, during or after these events, or at least having a sober designated driver to ferry their friends back home from the shows.
State Police to conduct sobriety checkpoint at PNC Bank Arts Center Friday night, NewsWorks.org, July 23, 2014
State Police DWI checkpoint set for PNC, TheLinkNews.net, July 23, 2014