With one of the most densely populated states in the Union, New Jersey sees more than its fair share of drunken driving, drug DUI and underage DWI arrests every week. Most of the people who are stopped by a state patrolman, municipal cop or county police officer are understandably nervous over the episode, especially if it is their first traffic stop or if they are accused of driving while intoxicated. One thing that anyone caught in this type of a scenario is not to give up hope and remember that it is not a foregone conclusion that a DWI charge will automatically result in a drunk driving conviction and related penalties.
When choosing any attorney to help you defend yourself against a charge of driving under the influence, it is important to keep in mind that dozens of people face similar charges every week in this state. At the law offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our experienced trial lawyers know DWI law and understand how state or local prosecutors approach these types of traffic offenses.
If there is one thing very common to those individuals accused of drunken driving, it would be the doubt as to whether or not it is worth the time, effort and cost of fighting a DWI summons, drug DUI charge, breath test refusal accusation or other alcohol or drug-related traffic offense. To this we must say, that there are numerous good reasons to take your case to court.
The outcome of any DWI case has a direct relation to numerous factors, including how the traffic stop was conducted, the circumstances surrounding one’s DUI arrest, the type and number of field sobriety tests performed, and the procedures followed by police when obtaining the breath or blood test results that determine blood-alcohol concentration (BAC).
For reference, here are a few examples of alcohol-related traffic stops that led to DWI arrests in several New Jersey municipalities this year. While every situation may have different facts surrounding the arrest, it can often be stated that a driver who pleads guilty to a DWI charge will be convicted of drunken driving, with all the potential penalties associated with those charges. However, for those drivers who put up a strong defense, it is not uncommon for the defendant to come away with few if any negative consequences.
The following items from news sources illustrate the various kinds of DWI arrests that can occur in Jersey. According to news reports, a 35-yearo-old man was hit with a charge of drunken driving in the wake of a head-on collision in Union County in mid-March. Based on news articles, the accused was allegedly operating his vehicle without headlamps illuminated when the crash occurred a little after 6pm on a Friday evening.
According to police, the accident happened in the intersection of South Michigan and Summit in Kenilworth, NJ, when a car being driven by the Linden man struck another vehicle that turned left in front of him. According to police reports, the other driver claimed that he did not see the accused man’s vehicle because its lights were not turned on at the time.
In the course of their investigation, officers on the scene alleged that the suspect was possibly intoxicated by drugs or alcohol at the time of the wreck. Police stated that the man was transported to Overlook Hospital for treatment of pain in his knees, during which blood samples were reportedly taken.
In another police arrest in the Montclair, NJ, area, police found a parked vehicle filled with smoke, which later was determined to be caused by burning marijuana. Upon approaching the suspect vehicle, which was located on Oak St. in the Nishuane Park area, patrolmen smelled a strong odor of cannabis when the driver rolled down his window. A 19-year-old Montclair man was taken into custody having been charged with possession of less than 50 grams of Marijuana.
Montclair police also responded to a car accident along a stretch of Elmwood Ave. in which one of the vehicles involved was driven away. Officers reported that a concerned citizen called in the license plate and description of a vehicle that they saw fleeing the scene of the accident. Following a trail of leaking fluid and debris, police found the car and its driver at the dead end of New St. The 46-year-old owner was allegedly standing near her vehicle and reportedly told police that she could not recall where or what caused the extensive front-end damage to her car.
Officers claimed that the suspect had the odor of alcohol on her breath and that she failed several of the standardized field sobriety tests she was requested to perform. Arrested for DWI, the local resident was charged with DWI within 1,000 feet of a school zone, careless driving, and failure to report an accident, as well as leaving the scene of a traffic accident.
In other news, a 38-year-old Middletown resident was reportedly arrested for DWI, as well as stalking and violating a restraining order. The man was held on $75,000 bail, which was set by the Monmouth County Superior Court.
Also an 18-year-old man from Lincroft, New Jersey, was arrested by police after officers allegedly found the teen in possession of an alcoholic beverage. He was arrested and charged with underage possession of alcohol, after which he was released pending a future court appearance.
DWI charge follows head-on collision in Kenilworth, NJ.com, March 17, 2013
Montclair Police Blotter: Marijuana, DWI, Eluding Police Arrests; BaristaNet.com; February 26, 2013
M’TOWN MAN CHARGED WITH DWI, STALKING; RedbankGreen.com; February 22, 2013