DWI and DUI Results 2011

2011: Municipal Court – Client was found by police officers to be sleeping in the driver’s seat of his vehicle, with the car turned off and the key in the ignition. Police woke him up and had him perform field sobriety tests which he could not successfully complete. Client was charged with 39:4-50 Driving while Intoxicated, 39:4-50.2 Refusal, 39:4-51(b) Possession of Unsealed Alcohol, 39:4-56 Delaying Traffic, 39:4-96 Reckless Driving, 39:4-97 Careless Driving and was facing up to a 2 year loss of license.

Result: The attorney argued that the Prosecutor could not prove the operation element of the DWI offense and the charge was dismissed. The attorney obtained an expert’s report indicating that the proper procedures for administration of the breathalyzer test as outlined in State v. Chun were not adhered to and the analysis of the test results showed that the officer’s contention that the client had not blown hard enough and given proper samples was wrong. The Court dismissed the Refusal charge. The final result was that following charges were dismissed: 39:4-50 Driving Under the Influence, 39:4-50.2 Refusal to Submit to Breathalyzer, 39:4-56 Delaying Traffic, 39-4:97 Careless Driving. Client pled guilty to 39:4-51b Open Container and was fined $256 plus court fees. Additionally he pled guilty to 39:4-96 Reckless Driving and was fined $206 plus court fees and his driving privileges in New Jersey were suspended for 30 days.

2011: Municipal Court – Client was pulled over after police observed him going through a red light and not observing a posted sign. When the client was pulled over officers smelled alcohol on the client’s breath. The client was brought in to the police station and given a Breathalyzer test in which the client registered a .14% which exceeds the legal limit. Client was charged with a 3rd offense 39:4-50 Driving While Intoxicated and which carries a mandatory sentence of 180 days in jail and a 10 year suspension of driving privileges.

Result: The Attorney argued that the two previous DWI’s took place in another state that had a .08% BAC limit at a time when New Jersey had a .10% limit. The convictions therefore could not be used to enhance the present conviction. The client pled guilty to a 1st offense DWI and was sentenced to 7 months suspension of driving privileges, 12 hours IDRC, and $700 in fines.

2011: Municipal Court – Client was involved in a car accident. When the officer went to his car and saw the client he appeared to be under the influence of drugs and admitted to smoking synthetic marijuana. A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) performed an examination and gave the opinion that the client was under the influence of a Central Nervous System Depressant and was unfit to drive. Client was charged with 39:4-50 Driving Under the Influence, 39:4-96 Reckless Driving, 39:4-97 Careless Driving, and a criminal charge of 2C:35-10(b) Under the Influence of CDS.

Result: Attorney determined that laboratory report only showed prescription medicine the client was on including Carbamezepine (an anti-convulsant known as Carbatrol), Mirtazapine (an anti-depressant known was Remeron), and Diphenhydramine (an over the counter medication – Benadrl). He produced prescriptions for the medications as well as documentation from the National Institute of Health that none of these were narcotics or capable of producing narcotic-like symptoms. The Court dismissed the Driving While Intoxicated as well as the Reckless Driving and criminal 2C:35-10(b) charges. Client pled guilty to 39:4-97 Careless Driving and was fined $206.00.

2011: Municipal Court –A police officer found the client on the shoulder of Route 18 with his lights on, engine off, and keys still in the ignition. Upon being awakened, the client stated to the officer that he stopped driving because he felt he was becoming too intoxicated to continue driving and had called his wife to pick him up. The Officer administered field sobriety tests which the client failed and an Alcotest administered at the station showed a blood alcohol level of .24%. Client was charged with 39:4-50 Driving while Intoxicated and 39:4-96 Reckless Driving.

Result: The Prosecutor would not entertain a plea. The attorney tried the case and filed a trial brief arguing that under the case law there was not sufficient proof that the client was operating the car at a time when he was intoxicated and could not establish his blood alcohol level at that time. The Officer admitted on cross-examination that the client could have been drinking at a nearby restaurant and might have driven to the point he pulled over before he felt the effects of the alcohol. The Court entered a verdict finding the client Not Guilty on all charges stating that he State did not prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the client had been driving the vehicle while intoxicated.

2011: Municipal Court – Client was stopped for an equipment violation and was found to be showing signs of intoxication. After failing a field sobriety test, he was taken into custody for 39:4-50 Driving Under the Influence. A search of his car found marijuana. An Alcotest showed a 0.0% BAC, however, a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) examined him and came to the opinion that he was operating under the influence of Central Nervous System Depressant. Client was charged with various criminal and motor vehicle offenses including Driving While Intoxicated, 39:4-96 Reckless Driving, and 39:4-49.1 Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle which carries a 2 year suspension of license.

Result: The attorney obtained a DRE expert who provided a report showing inconstancies between the DRE’s opinion of a CNS Depressant and the laboratory report which showed Cocaine in the client’s urine. As a result, the Driving While Intoxicated was dismissed, as well as the other motor vehicle charges including the Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle. Client pled guilty to 39:4-96 Reckless Driving and his license was suspended for 90 days with $239 in fines and court costs.

2011: Municipal Court – Client was pulled over for swerving from lane to lane while using her cell phone. Her 11 and 4 year old children were in the back seat. She failed field sobriety tests and was arrested for 39:4-50 Driving While Intoxicated, 39-4-96 Reckless Driving, 39:-4-97.3 Cell Phone Use, and 39-4-88 Failure to Maintain Lane. An Alcotest showed a .11% Blood Alcohol Level.

Result: The attorney obtained a report from the client’s physician that she was suffering from gastro-intestinal issues and acid reflux disease which caused her to belch and have heartburn intermittently. The attorney further obtained an expert report indicating that the belching, which brings gas and bubbles up from the stomach, requires that the Alcotest Operator begin a 20-minute waiting period which should commence from the time of last belch in order to make sure that the machine is measuring alcohol in the lungs and not in the stomach or mouth. As the State was unable to prove this, the DWI charge was amended down from a .11% BAC (which would carry a 7 – 12 month suspension) to a .08% BAC. Client pled guilty to the amended charge and received a 90 day suspension, $625 in fines and costs. Client also pled guilty to 39:4-97.3 Cell Phone violation with a $139 fine.

2011: Municipal Court – In what may be the strangest case of this attorney’s career, the client was found in a highway rest stop naked and pacing a circular pattern in front of his car. When questioned by the police, the client stated that he was Jesus and was helping God realign the galaxy. He was taken to the police station where he would not take an Alcotest. He was charged with 39:4-50 Driving While Intoxicated and 39:4-50.4 Refusal to take a Breath Test and was facing up to a two year suspension of his license.

Result: The attorney successfully argued that based upon a urine test that was negative for alcohol or drugs that the Driving While Intoxicated had to be dismissed. A more difficult question was the Refusal. The attorney obtained the records from the hospital where the client was taken as well as a subsequent psychiatric hospitalization. He also obtained a report from client’s treating psychiatrist that indicated that the client was found during a psychotic episode and suffered from schizophrenia. During the time at the police station he was incapable of understanding that the officer was requesting a breath sample. Based upon this, all charges were dismissed.

2011: Municipal Court – Client was pulled over after someone had reported an erratic driver. Client had gotten into an argument with her husband and admitted to the police officer that she had taken Xanax (an anti-anxiety medication) prescribed by her doctor. She also admitted to the police that she had left her home in Central Jersey and was driving to Maryland. She was pulled over near the New York border. She failed a field sobriety test and was taken into custody for 39:4-50 Driving While Intoxicated. When the client was given an Alcotest she had a blood alcohol level of 0.0%. Client was also charged with 39:6B-2 No Insurance, 39:4-97 Careless Driving, and 39:4-88(a) Failure to Keep Right.

Result: Attorney successfully argued that the Driving While Intoxicated 39:4-50 had to be dismissed because the State had failed to produce a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) to support its claim that the client was under the influence of a drug. The No Insurance charge was amended to 39:3-29 Failure to Produce an Insurance Card. The Careless Driving, a 2 point ticket, was amended to 39:4-97.2 Operating Vehicle in an Unsafe Manner, a no point violation. The client pled guilty to Failure to Keep Right, a 2 point violation with no license suspension.

2011: Municipal Court – Client was found pulled over on the side of the road asleep with his engine off, but his lights on, and the keys in the ignition. He was charged with a 2nd Offense DWI under 39:4-50 and was facing a fine of $500 to $1,000, imprisonment for a term for no less than 48 hours and no more than 90 days, and a two-year suspension of driving privileges. The client was also charged with 39:4-96 Reckless Driving and 39:4-138(b) Parked on a Highway.

Result: The attorney presented an Operation Defense arguing that the DWI could not be proven because there weren’t sufficient indicia of either the client’s operation or intent to operate the vehicle. The court dismissed the Driving While Intoxicate based upon this defense. The Client pled guilty to Reckless Driving and was assessed $500 in fines and a year suspension of driving privileges.