Are There Any Commonalties among New Jersey’s DWI Cases?
Interviewer: I realize each case you handle is different, but are there any distinct similarities among New Jersey’s DWI cases? Can you describe the most typical type of case that you encounter?
First-Offense DWI Charges Are the Most Common
Kevin: Most of the cases that I handle do involve first-time alleged DWI offenders. The people who have been charged are typically professionals – people who have really good jobs and homes and families as well.
Many DWI Police Stops Occur Close to Home When an Individual Is Returning from a Social Event
Usually these folks also have fairly clean driving records. The majority of them end up being pulled over very close to their homes, usually following some type of social event or restaurant that they are coming back from.
Speeding or Failing to Maintain a Lane Are the Two Most Common Reasons for an Initial Police Stop, Which Then Leads to a DWI Investigation
I would say a vast majority of these cases involve either an allegation of speeding or failing to maintain a lane (N.J.S. 39:4-98 and 39:4-88), which becomes the catalyst for the DWI investigation.
Individuals in a Variety of White Collar Professions Can Be Involved in a DWI Investigation
Interviewer: Are there any other factors that made these kinds of cases common? Are there certain kinds of professionals that you tend to see more often?
Kevin: I definitely seem to come across sales people very often who may be working in financial sector or pharmaceutical sector. Occasionally, I’ll have doctors and nurses that I represent as well. And sometimes law enforcement, also.
Interviewer: Is there also a particular geography where these people end up being pulled over? Or time of day or night, weekend/weekday, any other similarities?
An Initial Police Stop Can Occur in Any Locale
Kevin: Well, no, there doesn’t seem to be any similarities with where they’re pulled over. The people that I represent get pulled over on the Garden State Parkway or on the Atlantic City Expressway, or the New Jersey turnpike, but a number of them have been pulled over on rural roadways or suburban highways as well. So, for the most part, a DWI investigation can begin in any area.
Occasionally, I do have people that I represent who are pulled over and or investigated inside a major city, but that’s unusual for my clients in New Jersey. I do have a lot of clients who have been charged with a DWI after being stopped coming across one of the Delaware River bridges such as, the Ben Franklin Bridge or the Walt Whitman Bridge or the Betsy Ross Bridge.
The Time of Day Is a Factor in When You Might be stopped by the Police
Interviewer: How about time of day or day of the week or weekend? Are there any commonalities there?
The Most Common Time to be stopped by the Police is between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am
Kevin: Yes, there are definitely commonalities there. Typically, an investigation takes place after 11:00 p.m., and before 3:00 a.m. That’s the general time frame. I have found that most of my clients are involved in the police investigations between 12:00 a.m., and 2:00 p.m.
Interviewer: Do police stops happen more on Friday night, weekends or weekdays?
More Police Stops Occur Between Late Thursday Evening through Sunday Morning and during Holidays
Kevin: Well, definitely the investigations take place a majority of the time between late Thursday night and early Sunday mornings. So, usually in the early AM hours of Friday to the early AM hours of Sunday, most of the investigations take place. Of course, there are a lot of DWI investigations that take place during holidays as well.
Interviewer: You mentioned that most people are pulled over by the police close to their home. How close to their home? Is it within a few blocks?
Individuals Are Likely to be stopped by the Police Close to Their Homes
Kevin: Sometimes it’s within a block. Other times it’s within a few miles. Generally they are five minutes or closer to home when they’ve been pulled over. It’s unfortunate, but not unusual.
Interviewer: Do you think that it’s because people are relaxing and maybe their driving is getting a little bit less vigilant as they get closer to home?
Kevin: I imagine that assumption can be based on the person being intoxicated and that person being more careful as he or she is farther away from home, but less careful the closer the driver gets to home. I do have many clients who really contest the allegation of intoxication, so I can’t really say it was a matter of them trying to be more careful.