The 4th of July holiday is always a popular time for family and friends to visit the Jersey Shore and enjoy parties and reunions. At times like these, it is inevitable for beer, wine, mixed drinks and hard liquor to be available. As New Jersey drunk driving defense attorneys, I and my colleagues always recommend that people attending such activities have a plan for getting home, or to the next party.
A designated driver is usually a good choice to ensure a sober ride home, not only for one’s safety and peace of mind, but also to avoid situations like the ones we read about in the news almost every day during the summer. This time of year, not only do residents of the Garden State know that you can find a party almost anywhere, but the New Jersey State Police and local municipal patrolmen know that a percentage of drivers on the road are going to be legally drunk.
Keeping tabs on the public roads, it’s not uncommon to see an increase in the number of anti-DWI police patrols looking for potentially drunken drivers. According to news articles, the Lacey Township Police Department arrested half a dozen motorists for driving under the influence during the holiday weekend. What may have been somewhat surprising was that there were not more summonses issued to motorists who may have been operating their vehicle while impaired by alcohol or prescription drugs (drug DUI).
Based on reports, the following traffic stops were made, all of which ended up as DWI-related offenses, in addition to the initial offense. As most people know by now, a police officer must have a valid reason to stop an individual in order to eventually arrest a driver for driving while intoxicated. A DWI arrest usually precipitates from a routine traffic stop for some seemingly minor offense, such as improper turn, burned out tail lamp or failure to maintain one’s lane.
Police reports indicate that a 20-year-old Ocean County driver was stopped following a report of a vehicle being hit along a stretch of Haines St. in Lacey. The driver was charged with drunken driving as well as operating a motor vehicle under a suspended driver’s license, driving with no valid insurance coverage, and operating a vehicle that had no valid registration.
A 22-year-old Forked River resident was stopped by police along a stretch of Rte 9 in the late evening of July 4th for a speeding offense. During the investigation, police officers apparently detected signs of intoxication on the driver. The man was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, excessive speed, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in his vehicle, namely less than 50 grams of marijuana.
A 45-year-old resident of Whiting, NJ, was pulled over by police officers along Lacey Rd. apparently because she demonstrated signs of impairment by not controlling her vehicle in a proper manner. The arrest occurred in the early morning hours of July 4. Following a brief investigation, the woman was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, and failure to maintain lane, as well as refusing to submit to a breath test.
Another driver from Forked River was stopped by Lacey Twp. police in the early evening of July 3. The incident took place after the 20-year-old motorist was allegedly involved in a traffic accident at Manchester and Haines streets. Police reports indicate that the man left the scene of the accident that evening. Subsequently caught by police, the driver was charged with driving while intoxicated, underage DWI, breath test refusal and failure to report an accident, among other offenses.
6 Charged With DWI This Fourth Of July Weekend, Patch.com, July 5, 2011