What’s worse than being arrested for drunken driving? Some might suggest being convicted for DWI in a court of law. The fact is that if one is cited for driving under the influence of alcohol or doctor-prescribed medication as a result of a traffic accident, perhaps receiving a summons is not all that bad considering the physical consequences. As New Jersey DWI and drug DUI defense lawyers, I and my legal staff see people every day who have been accused of drunk driving. Some of those individuals are also recovering from injuries received as a result of a car collision.
Far from being judgmental, our message here is for people who decide to drive after a drink or two; make a thorough assessment of your condition. There are far worse things that can happen besides being arrested for DWI. Bodily injury and even possible death due to a miscalculation on the road is always a potential for any driver, no matter what their physical condition. Rolling the dice following an evening out with friends is hardly worth one’s life or health.
Here in the Garden State, law enforcement agencies have very little tolerance for those motorists who are suspected of driving while intoxicated. Whether it’s just a couple beers or strong prescription medicine — much less a controlled dangerous substance, such as marijuana of cocaine — the law has remedies for those convicted of impaired driving. While we defend motorists charged with driving under the influence, we certainly do not condone drunk driving if only for the reason stated above; it can get you killed.
A news article we ran across lately illustrates one of the numerous scenarios that can lead to a DWI charge. In this particular case, the driver was not severely injured in the single-vehicle crash that sent him to the emergency room, but fate could have dealt the man a totally different hand.
According to news reports, an SUV was headed south along a stretch of Rte 181 at what police believe was a high rate of speed. The vehicle, a 2007 Suzuki XL7, was being driven by a 19-year-old man at speeds significantly over the posted limit when the driver apparently lost control trying to negotiate a turn causing the sport utility vehicle to leave the roadway and eventually roll over.
Based on Sparta police reports, vehicle drove onto a nearby private driveway and then hit a protective guard rail before continuing up a wooded rise where it crested the hill and flipped over. The driver, a local New Jersey resident, received lacerations on his face, yet was otherwise uninjured. Officers arriving on the scene determined that the teen was intoxicated as they rendered treatment.
The injured man was taken to Newton Medical Center where he was treated and later released. Meanwhile, police accident reconstruction experts estimate that the vehicle was traveling nearly 90mph — twice the local posted speed limit — when the driver lost control. Police charged the driver with failure to maintain his lane, reckless driving and driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Police: Driver in rollover was drunk, NJHerald.com, July 10, 2012