As we've made clear in previous posts, anyone who finds themselves out at a bar, restaurant or other area hotspot with co-workers, friends or significant others should always pause before having that one extra drink. That's because New Jersey takes a less than forgiving approach to driving while intoxicated.
With the Memorial Day holiday weekend rapidly approaching, many people are undoubtedly putting the finishing touches on their plans for this much-anticipated three-day weekend.
Today is Saint Patrick's Day, meaning people across the state will be donning green and heading to local events to take part in all manner of festivities celebrating Irish heritage. While the majority of people go to these festivals for the food, the music and the camaraderie, there's no denying that others -- particularly young adults -- go to imbibe.
Whenever new DUI-related legislation emerges in Trenton, there's always immediate and justifiable concern that it will be overly punitive in nature, such that while it may result in offenders spending more time behind bars, it actually does very little to combat impaired driving.
In New Jersey, and in most other states across the nation, law enforcement officers use roadside breath test devices to determine whether a driver is operating a vehicle while intoxicated. If the breath test device measures the driver's blood alcohol content level at 0.08 percent or above, he or she may be arrested and charged with drinking and driving. However, multiple studies show that breath test device results are not always accurate and could show inflated readings in some situations. This could lead to a false arrest and erroneous DUI charge.
While the results of breathalyzer tests are admissible as scientific evidence in DUI cases in New Jersey, the state Supreme Court ruled in a 2008 case, State v. Chun, that certain criteria must be satisfied in order for this to happen. Indeed, the device must be functional, both regularly inspected and properly calibrated, and administered by a certified operator acting in accordance with established procedure.
In our previous post, we discussed how two state lawmakers recently introduced measures calling on New Jersey to alter what many view as its intractable and largely draconian stance toward marijuana.
When most people find themselves facing drunk driving charges, their thoughts inevitably focus on the possibility of lengthy incarceration and the levying of steep fines. While it's certainly true that New Jersey's DUI laws do call for relatively harsh punishments in this regard, it's important to understand that there is more to it than these two concerns.
Imagine that you're driving home after having dinner with some friends. As you turn onto a street near your home, you notice the flashing red and blue lights of a police car in your rearview mirror.
Have you ever considered the full cost of a drunk driving charge? What happens, in a financial sense, to someone who is convicted of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated?