Law enforcement learns through extensive training how to spot suspected drunk drivers on the roadways throughout New Jersey.
They watch for erratic driving behavior such as:
- Drifting in and out of traffic lanes
- Driving too slowly
- Running stop signs/traffic lights
If an officer believes a driver is operating vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol then the driver may be pulled over to the side of the road and asked to step out. The officer will look for telltale signs of drugs or alcohol by looking inside the car for open alcohol beverage containers or drugs.
The officer may ask the driver to submit to a sobriety test, which is a series of simple tasks. After that, driver may need to submit to a Breathalyzer test to determine the amount of blood alcohol content (BAC). If the driver's BAC reading is 0.8% or higher, that would indicate that driver is legally too intoxicated to operate a vehicle safely. The BAC limits are lower for drivers under 21 years of age at .01% and .04% for commercial drivers. If your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit, then you will face criminal charges of DUI or DWI.
Get the Legal Help that You Need
The Law Offices of Ryan E. Gilbert, LLC is knowledgeable in the law concerning all of the following:
- DUI evidence
- DUI arrests
- Police procedures
- Constitutional rights
I defend clients aggressively and at each step from the time of arrest, at arraignment, and all following court proceedings.
Blood Alcohol Contact (BAC) Evidence
The prosecutors and law enforcement agencies rely on BAC testing as critical evidence in their cases. Blood alcohol content testing is not an exact science and is often unreliable. The forensic evidence must be handled per established protocol, but that does not always happen. The defense can challenge each piece of evidence in a case, including the BAC testing. They can ask how the test was performed and whether it met the established standards. It is the job of the prosecution to present its case and it is the job of the defense to question all evidence.
Specific challenges may include:
- Faulty test equipment, incorrect calibration of the Breathalyzer giving incorrect readings
- Qualifications of the technician administering the test or handling the evidence
One drink is commonly a 12 oz beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of liquor. Certain factors can affect the amount of alcohol in a person's system such as the quantity of alcohol consumed, the body weight of the drinker, how quickly the drinks were consumed and the amount of food eaten. All of those can affect a BAC reading.
Consequences of a Conviction for Drinking & Driving
A refusal to take a BAC test is equal to a 1st time offense with a BAC reading of .08% and can result in license suspension and an insurance surcharge of $1,000 per year for 3 years. If the offender fails to pay the surcharge then his or her driving privileges are suspended until the fees are paid.
Other penalties can include time in jail from 30 days to 180 days, fines from $250-$1,000, license suspension up to 10 years, community service, and mandatory attendance at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. The penalties increase with multiple DUI convictions. In addition, the state has a "look back" period where they can consider your past DUI convictions for the past 10 years. If you have one prior, then your current conviction is the 2nd offense.
Get a Consultation with a DUI Defense Lawyer in East Brunswick and Freehold, NJ
In the state of New Jersey, the first three DUI offenses are misdemeanors. A defendant can plead guilty and accept the punishment handed down by the court. Another option is to plead not guilty and the case would proceed to trial, and you have the option to get your East Brunswick DUI attorney to aggressively challenge the evidence and seek an acquittal. The third option would be to plea bargain with the prosecutors. A plea bargain could take place if the defense and prosecution come to an agreement and often the criminal penalties are less as this agreement is negotiated out of court.
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At Law Offices of Ryan E. Gilbert, LLC, our goal is to guide you through the complex legal process. Your best interests are our top priority. We will provide nothing less than our honest, professional opinions, giving you the information and resources needed to make the best possible decisions.
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