On Feb. 28, a 25-year-old man crashed his car into a tree at the 167 mile marker on the Garden State Parkway. The driver had to be removed from the vehicle by rescue workers. He was treated for non-serious injuries at the Hackensack University Medical Center.
A search of the vehicle revealed prescription drugs. The driver, a New York resident, was charged with a number of motor vehicle violations. He also faces possession and drunk driving charges. Prior to the crash, police had received reports of a vehicle driving erratically in the area.
Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor in New Jersey, punishable by up to 30 days incarceration for a first offense. A driver who is convicted of driving under the influence may also be ordered to pay fines of $250 to $500 and faces a license suspension of up to one year. There are additional civil penalty assessments, and the driver may be ordered to perform up to 48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. If the driver’s blood alcohol level exceeded .10 percent, the judge will also order the installation of an ignition interlock device for one year following license reinstatement. A DUI conviction also can cause increased insurance premiums for several years following conviction. While these are serious penalties, the penalties increase if a person has prior DUI convictions.
For many people, losing the ability to drive can also mean losing a job, which causes additional hardship. In some cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help by evaluating whether or not field sobriety tests were performed correctly at the time of a defendant’s arrest or negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecution for reduced penalties.
Source: NJ, “N.Y. man injured in Garden State Parkway crash charged with DUI, drug possession,” Dan Ivers, Feb. 28, 2013
Source: State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, “DUI: Driving Under the Influence,” May 11, 2011