According to a recent analysis, New Jersey’s Bergen County leads the state in the number of drunk driving accidents. According to data from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there were 2,474 accidents between 2010 and 2013. Route 17 and Highland Cross came up as a particularly accident-prone spot, with five alcohol-related crashes in just three years.
One response to this data might be a call for more police patrols. In fact, various New Jersey police departments might designate specific units with the task of catching drivers who might be impaired by alcohol or drugs while behind the wheel. Yet a criminal defense attorney knows that such specialized units might encourage more aggressive policing tactics.
Although a traffic stop must be legally justified, any individual being questioned by a police officer might understandably feel intimidated and have questions about his or her rights. Cooperation is generally a good idea if an officer asks for a field sobriety test or breath test. However, if the traffic stops escalates into an arrest for driving while intoxicated, an individual has a right to request an attorney. After being arrested, an individual generally does not have to volunteer information to police outside the presence of his or her attorney.
From a suspended license to fines and jail time, the penalties for a DWI conviction can be severe. For that reason, it can be very helpful to consult with an attorney. An attorney can review the arrest report and evaluate the strengths or weaknesses of potential defense strategies.