Being stopped for a minor traffic violation by a New Jersey state trooper or local patrolman may not seem too serious to some people, unless the motorist in question has taken a drink in the recent past. Seeing as driving drunk is looked upon with much disdain here in the Garden State, it is not difficult to understand how a normally upstanding citizen can find him or herself in relatively hot water if alcohol is mixed with the operation of a motor vehicle.
Whether a driving infraction takes place in Sussex, Bergen, Monmouth or Hudson County, there is really no difference in the penalties that most any driver will likely face if convicted of driving under the influence of beer, wine or hard liquor. And, for those individuals who hardly ever touch alcohol, keep in mind that even doctor-prescribed medications can have a deleterious effect on one’s ability to pilot a car, truck or motorcycle. Even teetotalers have been known to be accused of impaired driving due to the effects of one or more prescription medicines.
Seriously, the powers that be in almost every corner of the state have no tolerance for people who slide behind the wheel of a vehicle in an inebriated state. Anyone who believed that all those public service announcements about DWI and drug DUI are simply PR hype, it’s best to think again. Quite frankly, with all the emphasis on drunken driving enforcement during the holidays, as well as other times of the year, it’s difficult to imagine that there are still drivers who take the chance of bine arrested for DWI or DUI, but it does happen with extreme regularity.
As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, my legal team and I constantly read about drivers who have been charged with intoxicated driving. However, it is the cases involving a traffic accident that bring to mind the complications of property damage or personal injury. While it is no picnic to face a charge of DWI or drug DUI, it is important to keep in mind that an impaired driving charge coupled with an injury accident that makes hiring a qualified drunk driving defense lawyer almost imperative.
Regardless of where one is arrested for operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, prescription medication or illicit drugs (such as cocaine or marijuana), the penalties can certainly be quite hefty. But throw in an accident that involves some costly damage or bodily injury and the defense can become a bit more complicated.
Being drivers ourselves, my colleagues and I certainly understand what drives the police when it comes to drunken driving enforcement; however, occasionally the methods used and the evidence derived from drunken driving traffic stops can be questionable. To this point, as DWI lawyers, we try to find fault with the prosecution’s arguments, as well as the manner in which police evidence is collected. In the case of an accident, though, the fact of the crash is a major consideration.
For instance, a news article we ran across late last month reminded us of the typical single-vehicle crash scenarios that often occur in New Jersey. According to reports, a 28-year-old Toms River man was taken into custody by Berkeley Township police following a serious auto accident in Ocean County. The incident reportedly took place on November 16 near the intersection of Station Rd. and Rte 9. Officers were apparently called to the scene by concerned citizens who saw a single-vehicle collision. The victim’s vehicle apparently went off the roadway and struck a nearby guardrail. Passing motorists stopped to help, by pulling the injured driver to safety, away from his burning vehicle.
News articles indicated that he was eventually transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. According to news reports, the driver was subsequently charged with DWI, as well as a range of other offenses, including driving without auto insurance, careless driving, having faked vehicle license plates, and operating an unregistered motor vehicle.
Toms River Man Charged With Drunk Driving After Crash, Patch.com, November 25, 2013