New Jersey police officers have been known to pull people over for suspicion of drunk driving when they observe someone swerving in their lane, speeding up then slowing down and many other minor actions that could be argued as probable cause for intoxication.
So it was no surprise when an officer stopped a man for suspicion of drunk driving after a near-miss collision with the officer’s patrol car. According to the officer, he was driving in Lopatcong Township at approximately 10:30 when a vehicle came at him head-on, the driver swerved and the cars nearly collided.
The officer immediately turned his vehicle around and stopped the man on the side of Country Road 519. The officer arrested the 32-year-old man and charged him with several offenses, including driving under the influence and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. That substance was ketamine, a drug used as general anesthetic during surgeries.
It is easy to judge the driver based on these facts. Now, let’s add in some other details that were not reported but could easily have been a part of a similar situation. Let’s assume the driver was on his way home from a dental appointment. He was drinking water for his dry throat when the bottle slipped from his hands. When he reached down, the vehicle swerved out of control.
Now imagine this was you. Should you be forced to find an alternate mode of transportation to your job every day after your driver’s license is suspended? Should you be forced to pay the $5,000 bail or other large fines for the near-miss? Should you spend one or more nights in jail? These are all real consequences for a DUI no matter how the details are written in a news report.
Source: wfmz, “DUI driver nearly hits NJ officer head-on,” April 11, 2012