Oftentimes people think they know everything there is to know about blood alcohol content and drunk driving. School children are repeatedly taught over the years that drinking and driving is wrong, incredibly dangerous and against the law. Still, drivers are still arrested in record numbers for drunk driving. Some have alcohol issues, others merely had drink too much at a picnic or New Year’s Eve celebration. If you are one of those, not all hope is lost.
When an individual is pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the law enforcement officer will conduct field sobriety tests to help them determine whether the driver is intoxicated. The tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the Walk and Turn test and the One Leg Stand test. What many people are not aware of is that when these tests are administered and protocol is not followed by the police officer, the test results are considered themselves impaired, and might even be ignored by the court. For example, if the officer does not inform a person wearing high heels that they are permitted to remove their shoes during the Walk and Turn test, this can serve as a defense; failure to tell a defendant to look at their feet is a flaw in the testing process. Other lines of attack include the fact that the officer did not give all the proper instructions, did not demonstrate the test, or that the test is impossible for the individual due to their health issues, age (over 65) or weight (50 pounds overweight).
Another aspect of DWI law in New Jersey that many people are unaware of is that if an individual believes he is too drunk to drive but allows a seemingly “less drunk” (who is himself drunk) friend to drive their car home, both individuals can be charged with DWI charges. Yes, even the owner of the car who is the passenger, and who never gets behind the wheel, will be charged with DWI.
If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated in New Jersey, contact Rem Katcher Law Group today to discuss your case.