Police in New Jersey have reported that a suspected drunk driver was taken into custody in Warren County during the early morning hours of Aug. 13 after she allegedly drove her car into a fish hatchery pond. The 42-year-old Washington Township woman has been charged with driving while intoxicated and entering a public park in an unauthorized vehicle. Police say that she was later released on her own recognizance.

Officers with the Hackettstown Police Department say that they came upon the woman in a public park sitting on the trunk of her car waving her arms to flag them down. Her car was found partly submerged in a pond used by a nearby fish hatchery. Police claim that they suspected impairment when they saw the woman and their suspicions were confirmed when they smelled alcohol on her breath. Reports indicate that the woman had to enter a public park and drive down a dirt road not open to vehicles in order to reach the pond.

The fish hatchery, which is located near Willow Grove Street in Alumni Field, raises 15 species of fish, but reports indicate that no fish were in the pond the woman allegedly drove into. Media accounts also indicate that the woman suffered no injuries and no property damage was recorded.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to settle drunk driving cases like this one quickly. Prosecutors work under great pressure and are generally willing to show leniency in cases involving defendants who caused no injuries or damage and have not been in trouble with the law previously. Defense attorneys could encourage them to take this path by pointing out mitigating factors such as a full-time job, a supportive family and genuine remorse.

Source: Lehigh Valley Live, “A car sank in a fish hatchery and the driver sat on top awaiting rescue. She’s now charged with DWI”, Steve Novak, Aug. 13, 2018