Although it may seem to be an obvious point to make, it would seem that a small number of people still don’t understand that confronting the police in whatever circumstance is highly inadvisable these days. Especially under such circumstances as a simple traffic infraction, there is little advantage to calling out an officer who is only doing his duty. Even as DWI defense attorneys, the legal staff at my firm recognizes the important and indispensable role that law enforcement plays when ti comes to the general welfare of our society as a whole.
So the question arises, how should one react to being pulled over for a moving violation? Calmly, is what most people would generally agree is the approach any motorist should take when being questioned by a state trooper or local policeman. We’ve cautioned readers in the past regarding the folly of driving while possibly under the influence of beer, wine or liquor. The DWI-DUI laws here in the Garden State make the act a potentially expensive and inconvenient one, to say the least.
But when it comes to interacting with a policeman on the roadside, it is best to save any fight for the courtroom, since outbursts brought on by anger or frustration will generally not be tolerated by any patrolman. Certainly, being accused of drunken driving presents a motorist with trouble enough without potentially adding on to the list with a verbal onslaught or uncooperative behavior. In fact, refusing to provide a breath sample may seem like one way to retaliate against an unjustified arrest for DWI, but even that approach can backfire on some people.
As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, my legal team is fully aware of the ease with which an average law-abiding individual can find himself in custody with charges pending for impaired vehicle operation. We understand that a certain percentage of drivers who have been arrested for drunk driving truly believe that they are not guilty of the offense. This is why we are ready to offer our experience to those who may have been wrongfully accused.
But fighting or arguing with a patrolman in the street will not serve most people. Police officers know that alcohol can work both ways on a person’s personality and behavior. It is well known that being intoxicated can make a person more outgoing, or it can cause more belligerent behavior. If one is prone to the latter, there could be worse difficulties waiting for a motorist should he or she be arrested for DWI.
Whether one has a problem with authority, or rejects what they see as intimidation tactics on the part of an individual patrolman, the embarrassment alone can sometimes cause a person to react badly in front of a law enforcement official. Worse, in fact, could be that fleeting thought that making a run for it will make things better, which it never really does. Seeing a patrol car’s lights in one’s rearview mirror can make some people nervous, but fleeing an officer should never be considered, much less attempted. Take, for instance, a news article we ran across a short while back that detailed one motorist’s unsuccessful attempt to evade the law.
According to the news, police gave chase to a Hillsborough man driving a black Dodge Durango who passed an officer’s cruiser at a high rate of speed along a portion of I-287 between Somerset and Morris counties. The incident took place just after 2am on a Thursday morning and led to a police chase reaching 100mph at times. Based on police reports, the 29-year-old driver was initially clocked at 110mph.
During the pursuit, the drive nearly lost control of his vehicle, almost striking a guardrail. The officer followed the suspect to Exit 35 in Morristown, at which point police were reportedly able to take the man into custody. During processing at the Somerville state police barrack, officers detected the smell of alcohol on the man’s breath. A Breathalyzer test apparently showed the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at 0.11 percent. The suspect was subsequently charged with driving under the influence and later indicted by a Somerset County grand jury on a charge of eluding police.
Hillsborough man accused of DWI, leading police on 100-mph chase in Somerset, Morris counties; NJ.com; February 18, 2014