As Garden State DWI defense attorneys, we know that our perspective on drunk drivers may be somewhat different that that of the police or legislators in Trenton. Where law enforcement agencies do not have much sympathy for drivers who drink and drive on New Jersey roadways, our job as DWI defense lawyers is to consider all of the facts and the specific circumstances of each case and present a thoughtful argument to the court on our clients’ behalf.
When it comes to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, my colleagues and I know that errors in judgment can and do occur on a regular basis in this country. We know that many people who are arrested for drunken driving (who the law refers to as first-time offenders) never consciously decided to break the law, but rather did not realize they we legally impaired to begin with. Of course, once a traffic stop is made, it can be up to the opinion of the officer in charge whether or not to arrest the motorist.
With all the focus on anti-DWI enforcement, it is not too surprising that there will be from time to time motorists arrested and charged with drunk driving who have been either unfairly accused of DWI or who may have extenuating circumstance that made the officer believe that individual was impaired at the time of the traffic stop. Either way, it is the job of this law office to provide an important service of representation to these and other people who seek our counsel.
If a person is charged with drunk driving or drug DUI as a consequence of poor judgment, the job of the defense attorney is to argue for the defendant and influence the court to consider the facts in the case before rendering a decision. At the same time, if errors have been made by the police, or the prosecution cannot support its case against the defendant the opportunity for a not guilty verdict is greater. Some drunk driving cases are thrown out simply because the evidence was not collected properly by the police officer; improper police procedures can often be cited as reasons for charged to be dismissed.
Naturally, the start of most drunk driving cases go all the way back to the initial traffic offense observed by the arresting officer. If the infraction that caused the initial police stop was not legitimate to being with, there may be very good grounds to have the DWI or drug DUI charges dismissed. The following news items give a snapshot of the kinds of DWI, DUI and other impaired driving arrests that occur in New Jersey on a daily basis.
Middlesex County Police DWI and Other Arrests
A motor vehicle stop in Spotswood, NJ, netted police two 19-year-old women who were charged by police with a range of offenses following what appears to have been a routine traffic stop. According to the police report, the incident occurred in the early hours on a Saturday morning along a stretch of Main Street. The patrolman in charge reportedly saw the driver of a Suzuki passenger car fail to stay in her lane as she crossed over the double-yellow line.
After making the stop, the officer found that the driver was in possession of MDMA (known on the street as “Extacy”). The passenger was also holding some of the drug on her person. As a result, both ladies were charged with CDS (controlled dangerous substance) possession, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia. The driver was also charged with drug DUI. They were eventually remanded to the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick in lieu of bail.
In another CDS-related incident, a driver was arrested following a car accident that occurred just before midnight near the intersection of Katz Way and Village Drive East. The -year-old local woman was determined by police to be impaired by a CDS. She was charged with possession of several illicit substances, as well as DWI-DUI, use of a CDS and tampering with evidence. The woman was taken to the Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick in lieu of $50,000 bail.
A case of drunken driving was reported by authorities after a mobile police unit observed a passenger vehicle strike a guardrail a little past 1am along a stretch of DeVoe Avenue. The officer in charge stopped the driver who was reportedly intoxicated by an alcoholic beverage. The 28-year-old Parlin, NJ, driver was charged with reckless driving, DWI, failure to maintain lane and careless driving, among other infractions.
A Plainsboro DWI arrest took place a little after 4am on a Sunday morning after police pulled over a 24-year-old woman for not maintaining her lane. The investigation that followed resulted in police charging the Middlesex resident with DWI and failure to maintain her lane. She was subsequently released pending a municipal appearance.
Multiple Drunk Driving, CDS Police Stops in Cumberland County
A 25-year-old man was stopped for an apparent traffic infraction along a stretch of 2nd Street in Millville, NJ, and reportedly found to be intoxicated by alcohol. The driver was charged with driving while intoxicated and was subsequently released on a summons.
Later that same day, a 22-year-old woman from Greenwich was charged with CDS possession, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia and a hypodermic needle. Afterward, a 63-year-old driver was pulled over for what was likely a traffic infraction, but which led to an arrest for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol. The driver was released on a summons pending a court date. I fourth individual was stopped along Sharp Street for a moving violation. During the traffic stop, the officer in charge apparently detected evidence of alcohol consumption on the 38-year-old driver, who was subsequently arrested and taken into police headquarters. The man was charged with DWI, then released on a summons.
Police Blotter for June 6, 2013; MyCentralJersey.com; June 6, 2013
Millville Police Blotter: Robbery, DWI, obstruction; NJ.com; June 6, 2013