In New Jersey, motorists need to take drunk driving seriously year-round, but especially during the holidays. The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s see an increase in policed roadblocks and checkpoints geared at catching people who are driving under the influence (DUI), also called driving while intoxicated (DWI). Although everyone wants to keep individuals who are DWI off the roads, not everyone accused of a DUI/DWI is convicted of the crime. Plenty of people charged with DWI in New Jersey work with criminal defense attorneys to have their sentences lightened or the charges thrown out of court.
No Cause to Pull Over the Vehicle
If a driver is pulled over for no reason by an officer, the incident may be thrown out of court. Unless the officer has seen something indicating a problem, such as weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, or other unsafe driving, the officer cannot issue a stop for no reason.
With surveillance cameras on buildings, attorneys can sometimes use video evidence to prove a stop, search, and sobriety test was illegal. If the lawyer can make the case, the incident may be thrown out, even if the driver was intoxicated at the time. The only caveat to this defense is that roadblocks and preauthorized checkpoints are legal.
Sobriety Testing was Flawed
This defense posits the likelihood that the sobriety test, whether handled in the field or at the police station in New Jersey, was flawed somehow. Perhaps the breathalyzer equipment had not been properly maintained. Maybe the breathalyzer machine was old or had a track record of inaccuracy. If blood was drawn, the blood might not have been handled according to protocol.
These problems can all lead to a DWI charge being dropped. Though they can be tough to prove, a competent defense attorney knows how to obtain the evidence needed to support this type of DUI defense.
The Driver Became Intoxicated During the Sobriety Test
It takes a little while for alcohol to travel through the body and into the bloodstream. For that reason, some drivers pulled over may claim they were not intoxicated at first but became intoxicated as the drink they took before leaving a party, restaurant, or bar took hold. If they were stopped close to home, they may have been able to get safely to their residence without putting themselves or others at risk.
The Driver Unknowingly Drank Alcohol
Most people have heard of people slipping alcohol into drinks. This can happen anywhere, at any time, and may lead to someone getting behind the wheel when they should not. Often, this defense will require supporting witness evidence from individuals who went to the same holiday gathering and can attest under oath that someone spiked certain beverages. Though the driver may have been intoxicated, a successful defense could lessen the severity of the punishment, which now includes the installation of an ignition interlock device from the first offense.
What to Do After Being Charged with a DWI
Anyone who has been charged with a DWI has the right to representation in court. Many motorists, even those with blood alcohol content levels above the legal amount, turn to criminal defense attorneys for assistance. That way, they know they have done everything possible to advocate for themselves in court.
Haddonfield DUI Lawyers at Agre & St. John Defend Those Charged with DUI/DWI During the Holidays
If you were charged over the holiday with a DWI in New Jersey, contact the Haddonfield DUI lawyers at Agre & St. John. Call us at 856-428-7797 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Salem County, and Gloucester County.