If anyone had a question that a single drunken driving conviction could affect an individual’s future is a major way, just ask any former commercial truck driver who has been found guilty of drinking and driving. When we say this, we don’t just mean DWI while on duty, but on personal time as well. As New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers, we understand how an arrest for driving under the influence can start a chain of potentially life-changing events for almost anyone.
We are reminded every so often of the complications that a DWI or drug DUI arrest and conviction can present to a professional driver. Whether one operates a delivery truck, a limousine, city bus or taxi cab, being caught on duty or off while impaired due to alcohol, doctor-prescribed medication or illicit drugs, like cocaine or meth, can put the brakes on a career pretty quick.
For this reason alone — and not even thinking about the harsh monetary penalties and fines — it is highly recommended that anyone holding a commercial driver’s license immediately consul with an experienced DWI defense attorney before stepping foot into a courtroom.
A little while back, a news item caught our attention on this very topic. According to reports, a New Jersey truck driver was stopped on the New York Thruway by police and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). What likely amazed most people who read that news story was that the breathalyzer results following the man’s arrest indicated a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) over four times the legal limit for drivers in New Jersey.
According to reports, state troopers were made aware of a commercial truck begin driven erratically along the northbound lanes of Interstate 87 around 6pm on a Sunday evening. Catching up to the suspect vehicle, police pulled the driver over a little south of Albany.
The trucker, 46-year-old Thomas Weigers of Woodbridge, NJ, was arrested and charged with aggravated DWI. Taking the man into custody, police reportedly got a breath-test reading of 0.35 percent; a measurement of 0.08 percent qualifies a driver as legally drunk in many states including New Jersey.
If the reading is to be believed, many observers say it is amazing that the man was still conscious when the police pulled his tractor-trailer over. Meanwhile, the question of the future of this man’s working career is hanging in the balance, especially when one considers that the legal limit for drunken driving among holders of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is just 0.04 percent BAC. In this instance, the driver was almost nine-times over the legal limit for truckers.
Based on news reports, although Mr. Weigers was apparently conscious, he was allegedly operating his semi rig in a “wild” manner. A police spokesman for the jurisdiction in which the man was arrested stated that the driver failed a number of the standardized field sobriety tests.
For this individual, he apparently has “dodged a bullet” more than one time in his driving career; but with this latest incident, he may have a tough road ahead of him. According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, Wiegers already has nine traffic violations, including two DWIs (a 1992 conviction and one in 2004).
Furthermore, the man’s license has been under suspension 19 times in nearly 25 years of driving. Two of those license suspensions were a result of DWIs; two were for insurance lapses; and more than a dozen others due to failure to pay fines or make a court appearance. Following his arrest in New York state, Wiegers was placed in county jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.