New Jersey State Police and Port Authority officers prevented possible tragedy when a car was spotted going in the wrong direction on Route 78. Multiple motorists reported the incident, which resulted in the arrest of a New York resident. The incident happened near Newark International Airport just before daylight on April 8th.
State officers were dispatched to the area after receiving reports of a sedan driving against traffic in the left lane of Route 78 in the vicinity of mile marker 58. Before they arrived, Port Authority police had observed and stopped the vehicle. According to reports, a 48-year-old male resident of Queens was stopped without incident, but officers quickly realized he was possibly intoxicated. In addition to the illegal driving, the man smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes. His arrest report indicates that he failed other field sobriety tests.
Before arresting someone for DWI, officers must have probable cause for a traffic stop. In this instance, probable cause came from observing the man driving in the wrong direction. Next, there must be an articulable suspicion of intoxication. The bloodshot eyes and smell of alcohol gave officers this suspicion. Finally, field sobriety tests are administered. There are specific criteria for administering and scoring field sobriety tests, and police must follow them closely. Any inconsistencies or deviations from procedure can result in the criminal prosecution being jeopardized or even dismissed.
DWI convictions come with major consequences. Incarceration, heavy fines and loss of driving privileges are all possible. Criminal convictions of any kind routinely appear on background checks and cause problems related to education, housing and employment opportunities. Consulting a qualified criminal defense attorney may be a wise choice for an alleged drunk driving offender.