In New Jersey, the basic offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) consists of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. If you have been arrested for a DWI in New Jersey, you need to consult a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney as soon as possible. A DWI charge or conviction may lead to a number of serious consequences. You may lose your driver’s license, face hefty fines, and even go to jail. Not just that, but your professional and personal reputation may suffer as well. With many years of experience, you can trust that we will make every effort to protect your rights throughout the entire legal process.
Last month, a New Jersey judge launched into a profanity-laced tirade against two New Jersey state troopers during a traffic stop. According to the complaint, two troopers spotted the judge’s vehicle pulled over and parked on the shoulder of the highway. The judge was asleep at the wheel in the front street. When troopers woke him up, they smelled alcohol and noticed the judge’s eyes were bloodshot. However, the judge denied drinking any alcohol or taking any drugs prior to the stop.
Officers then decided to conduct a field sobriety test, at which point the judge informed troopers of his position. The troopers continued the test and arrested the judge for a DWI. The judge was ultimately found not guilty of the DWI charge but is now facing an ethics investigation for citing his position as a judge during the traffic stop. The incident highlights how no one is exempt from New Jersey DWI laws.
You may also be wondering how the judge could have been arrested for a DWI when he was not actually driving at the time officers found him in the vehicle. Under New Jersey law, an individual does not have to be ‘driving’ to be charged or convicted with a DWI. In order to secure a DWI conviction, the burden of proof is on the state to prove both: i) intoxication and ii) operation. The term “operation,” however, is not clearly defined. Thus, many drivers have been charged with DWIs after being found asleep at the wheel in parked cars, which is exactly what happened in the case here with the judge.
In addition, in cases in which a driver is in the car but not driving, police officers are free to examine a number of different factors. For instance, in the case of the judge who was sleeping at the wheel on the shoulder of a freeway, a reasonable inference can be made that he had been driving a short time prior to stopping and falling asleep.
A DWI arrest or charge should never be taken lightly. If you are facing your first DWI charge or a subsequent charge, it is imperative to reach out to a New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney who can help. We can analyze the facts of your case and vigorously protect your rights at every step of the way. These cases are complex, and having a seasoned lawyer advocating for you can make all of the difference in your case. To speak to us in more detail, call us at 877-450-8301 or reach out to us online.
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