The state of New Jersey works hard to keep drunk drivers off the road. If an individual if found driving with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, the may be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Receiving a DWI charge is serious and may result in a long impact on your life. If charged, it is important to consult with legal representation in order to understand your defense.
There are certain laws when it comes to stopping a vehicle on the road. A New Jersey law enforcement officer needs a valid reason to pull you over, otherwise, it is known as an illegal stop. In the event of an illegal stop, it is possible to have any evidence gathered from the stop inadmissible in court.
20 Minute Rule
When pulled over by a police officer, they must conduct an assessment of the driver’s condition. In the state of New Jersey, the officer has to examine the driver for at least 20 minutes before administering a chemical breath test. While assessing the driver, the officer looks for proof of a high blood alcohol content level. Certain signs may include regurgitation, belching and vomiting. If an officer fails to assess the driver for the proper amount of time, an experienced attorney may be able to have the test results blocked.
Field Sobriety Tests
If you are pulled over on the suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the law enforcement officer may conduct Field Sobriety Tests. These tests are designed to determine the level of the driver’s intoxication through their motor skills and balance. There are three tests that may be conducted:
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test
- The One Leg Stand test
- The Walk and Turn test
These tests have rules as to how they must be carried out legally. The officer must not only read the instructions of the test to the driver but demonstrate it for them as well. Before the tests begin, the driver must fully understand them. If an individual fails a test, the officer may arrest them for a DWI.
Some defenses of a Field Sobriety Test may include:
- The officer did not read all the instructions
- The officer did not demonstrate the test
- The officer did not inform the individual that they may remove high heels
- The individual has health issues preventing them from passing the test
If you have been pulled over for a DWI and wish to speak with an attorney about challenging your case, contact the Law Office of Michael A. Policastro today.
If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, it is essential to retain the quality legal services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Office of Michael A. Policastro today to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your situation.