DWI and DUI Results, 2020

2020- Municipal Court: Officer was dispatched to report of vehicle on railroad tracks.  When the Officer arrived on the scene, he observed that the vehicle appeared to have veered off the road onto railroad tracks.  The Client was standing outside of the car with 2 juveniles inside of vehicle.  Officer smelled alcohol on the Client.  Client was unable to satisfactorily complete the Field Sobriety Test.  At Police Headquarters the client did not give satisfactory answers to the Officer’s request for a breathalyzer test and was charged with a Refusal, 39: 4-50.4. Client was also charged with 39:4-50 DWI, 39:4-50.15B DWI with children in car, 39:4-97 Careless Driving, 39:4-96 Reckless Driving, 39:4-58  and 39:4-50.4A, Open Container of Alcohol.

Result:  Attorney was able to negotiate a plea.  Client plead guilty to 39:4-50 and was fined $307 + 33 + 50 + 75 + 225,  with 12hrs IDRC (concurrent with refusal) and 3 month interlock (concurrent interlock with refusal).  Client plead guilty to 39:4-50.4 and fined $307 + 33 + 50 + 75 + 225  with 12 hours IDRC (concurrent with DWI) and 15 month interlock (concurrent with DWI).  All other charges dismissed including criminal charges of DWI with Juveniles in MV. Client did not lose his license.

2020- Municipal Court:   Officer responded to hit and run where a vehicle hit a parked city vehicle and a neighbor witnessed the damage. Officer found silver debris at the scene (which matched the description of vehicle from neighbor). Officer followed directions that neighbor gave which led him to a small silver vehicle, with massive damage to passenger side — matching where the parked vehicle was struck and the debris the officer found around the scene. Officer located the vehicle with two passengers in it – was advised that registration of vehicle was expired and registered owner had a suspended DL. Officer approached and driver told him that the damage was old, but the vehicle was clearly barely drivable. When exiting the vehicle, client almost fell while walking, had slurred speech, and was unable to complete the Field Sobriety Test.  Client was charged with 39:4-50, 39:4-50-4, 39:4-96, 39:4-129B (Leaving the Scene of an Accident which carries a six month loss of license), 39:4-130, 39:3-29, 39:3-40, 39:3-4, 39:6B-2.

Result:  The charge of DWI was dismissed.  Client plead guilty to 39:4-50.4, Refusal to take a Breath Test, guilty to 39:4-130 Failure to Report an Accident, guilty to 39:3-29A, failure to possess driver’s license, guilty of 39:4-56, delaying traffic and was find a total of $850.00 with remaining charges dismissed. The client did not lose his license.  

2020 – Municipal Court: Client was involved in a motor vehicle accident where her car rolled over. Due to a head injury from the accident, and the position she was in due to the roll over, the Client was trapped in the motor vehicle. Client was brought to the emergency room where she was placed under arrest and was under the watch of an Officer. The Officer told her she had to sign a Blood Draw Consent Form, but did not tell her of her informed consent rights including the right to refuse a voluntary blood draw.   She was injured and confused.  The Officer then attempted to physically and emotionally coerce Client over and over with the assistance of the nursing staff. Client never gave consent for the blood draw and the Nurse physically picks up her hand and had her sign the form.  The Client was  charged with 39:4-50 DWI, 39:4-50(g) DWI in a School Zone, and 39:4-97 Careless Driving. 

Results:  In discussions with the Prosecutor, the Attorney vehemently argued that the conduct of the Officer was unacceptable and unconstitutional.  Following these discussions,  the Prosecutor agreed that  the Officer and Nurse’s conduct during the Blood Draw Consent Form being signed, was improper and agreed to dismiss the DWI and DWI in a school zone as there was not admissible consent to the blood draw.  The Client pled guilty to 39:4-97, Careless Driving, a two point ticket. Client paid $139.00 in fines and fees;  all other charges were dismissed. 

2020 – Municipal Court: Client was stopped by police who allege that he was swerving in the lane. A review of the video led to a Suppression Motion being filed for an unconstitutional stop because the video did not reflect that Client had crossed the marked lines. Client consented to taking the breath test and had a reading of 0.09% BAC. Client was facing three months or suspension of drivers license, 12 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, and fines and penalties of between $650.00 and $750.00. Client was charged with 39:4-50 DWI,  39:4-96 Reckless Driving, 39:4-88b Failure to Maintain Lane, and 39:-4-97.2 Unsafe Operation. 

Result: After reviewing the discovery and filing a Suppression Motion with the Court regarding the Motor Vehicle Stop, a plea agreement was reached.  A Not Guilty finding was entered on the DWI.   As the client was moving around in his lane in a reckless manner, he pled guilty to 39:4-96 Reckless driving, a 5 point ticket. All other summonses were dismissed. Due to the nature of his driving client had a 45 day loss of license and court fines and fees in the amount of $490.00. 

2020 – Municipal Court: Client was involved in a one car Motor Vehicle accident where he hit a retaining wall. The Officer arrived sometime after the motor vehicle accident and found a 750mL bottle of Bacardi ¾ empty in the front cup holder. Client had trouble turning the vehicle off at the Officer’s request and the Officer had to reach into the vehicle to shut it off. The Client refused to do Standard Field Sobriety Testing and was placed under arrest due to the accident, the odor of alcohol, and the open container of alcohol found in the front seat. The Client did consent to a breath test and had a reading of .26% BAC. He was facing a suspension of his driving privileges for 4 to 6 months, 12 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, an alcohol education and evaluation program, plus an interlock for nine to fifteen months. Client was charged with 39:4-50 DWI, 39:4-51(b) Open Container of Alcohol in Motor Vehicle, and 39:4-96 Reckless Driving.

Result: The discovery was sent to an expert for review, which showed that the Officer failed to properly conduct a 20 minute observation prior to Client taking the breath test. This 20 minutes is required to make sure that the Client does not burp, vomit, or otherwise interfere with a clean reading from the machine. The reading was deemed inadmissible and client pled guilty to 39:4-50 with no reading. All other summons were dismissed. Client had a three month suspension of his driving privileges. Normally this would be three months with an interlock, however, Client did not own a vehicle. After attesting under oath that he did not own a vehicle, the term of the interlock requirement was converted to a suspension. If he had been found guilty of the DWI at the .26% reading as charged, since he did not own a vehicle Client would have received a license suspension of between 13 and 21 months.    Client also had 12 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and fines and penalties of approximately $715.00. 

2020 – Municipal Court; Client was swerving on the road and a motor vehicle stop was initiated. The Officer immediately smelled marijuana and alcohol upon approaching vehicle. Client was confused about his location and believed he was approximated 20 minutes away from where he was stopped and on a completely different highway. When asked to do Standard Field Sobriety Tests, client was unable to and got overly emotional so that completing the tests was not possible. Client also refused to take a breath test. Since Client was under 21, he was charged with 39:4-50.14 Underage DWI, which is a loss of license between 30 and 90 days, community service for 15-30 days, and 12 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) an alcohol education and evaluation program. He was also charged with 39:4-50.4A Refusal which has a penalty of 6 to 12 months with an interlock device, as well as the 12hrs in the IDRC. He also was charged with 39:4-96 Reckless Driving (5 points), 39:4-88 Failure to Maintain Lane (2 points), and 39:3-10 Unlicensed Driver. 

Result: Due to the Client being unable to physically attempt the Standard Field Sobriety Tests and the lack of a reading the Prosecutor agreed to Dismiss the charge of 39:4-50.14 Underage DWI. However, the Officer did have probable cause to ask Client to take the breath test, and he failed to do so. As part of the plea agreement Client pled guilty to 39:4-50.4 and the summons for 39:3-10 Unlicensed Driver was amended to 39:3-29 Failure to Exhibit a Valid Driver’s License. The penalties for the 39:4-50.14 Refusal, were 9 months interlock, 12 hours in the IDRC, and fines & fees of $740.00. Client’s plea to 39:3-29 was fines and fees of $190.00. 

2020 – Municipal Court: Client had flat tire on the side of a busy highway, and the Officer responded assist.   When the Officer spoke to the Client he smelled alcohol and requested that the Client complete Standard Field Sobriety Tests. Client was swaying and not able to stand safely during the tests and the Officer terminated the tests and placed Client under arrest for DWI. Client agreed to give breath samples and attempted to do so several times without success. He was charged with 39:4-50 DWI, 39:4-50.4 Refusal, and 39:4-96 Reckless Driving (5 points). Since there was no reading the DWI had a potential penalty of 3 months interlock, 12 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) an alcohol education and evaluation program. The 39:4-50.4A Refusal had a penalty of 6 to 12 months with an interlock device, as well as the 12hrs in the IDRC.

Result: An expert report was obtained to determine whether the machine was functioning properly since Client attempted to give samples and was unsuccessful. Based on the report, the Prosecutor offered a plea agreement where Client pled guilty to 39:4-50 and all other summons including the Refusal, were dismissed. This agreement was accepted and Client pled to 39:4-50 DWI with a 3 month interlock requirement, 12 hours in the IDRC, and fines and penalties totaling $640.00.