The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud

Elizabeth DUI/DWI Law Blog

Woman with tree lodged in her car charged with DUI

The results of blood or breath tests are often the most important pieces of evidence in drunk driving cases, but police officers must be able to show that they had probable cause to pull the defendant's vehicle over in the first place. Criminal defense attorneys may seek to have cases dismissed or charges reduced when probable cause can not be established, but this is unlikely to be case with an Illinois woman who was charged with driving under the influence in January 2016.

The woman was pulled over in Roselle on Jan. 23 after police received calls about a vehicle on Roselle Road that had what appeared to be a tree lodged in its front end. Police stopped the vehicle near Irving Park Road at approximately 11:10 p.m. When officers approached the 2004 Lincoln sedan, they noticed that the airbags had been deployed and a 15-foot tree had become lodged in the radiator grill. Officers say that the woman admitted to striking the tree.

Man killed in suspected DWI wrong-way crash

Police report that a 32-year-old New Jersey resident is facing DWI charges after he was involved in a fatal two-car collision in Saddle Brook. The crash occurred after midnight on Feb. 20.

The collision happened on Interstate 80 when the alleged drunken motorist drove a pickup truck in the wrong direction down the interstate highway and smashed head-on into an eastbound vehicle. The force of the crash caused the other vehicle to flip over, instantly killing the driver, a 64-year-old man from New York.

Teen charged with DUI and underage drinking

A 19-year-old woman in New Jersey was accused of driving drunk on Feb. 13. The Forked River woman was spotted by a police officer at 10:48 p.m. According to the officer, the woman struck a curb and then failed to stay in her traffic lane near the intersection of Lacey Road and Lake Barnegat Drive North.

Shortly after the officer noticed the woman hit a curb, he pulled her over at Manchester Avenue and Veterans Way. The woman was taken into custody for DUI and other charges. In addition to one count of driving under the influence, police charged the woman with reckless driving, underage consumption of alcohol, driving with an open container of alcohol and failure to maintain lane. After the woman was taken into custody, authorities impounded her vehicle in accordance with John's Law.

Multiple methods proposed for lowering drunk driving accidents

New Jersey residents might like to know about some of the proposed plans for reducing drunk driving crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board wants to lower the legal blood alcohol level from .08 percent to .05 percent. One is more than 50 percent at risk for a fatal crash when having a BAC of .08 percent, so the NTSB recommends that the legal limit be lowered.

AAA acknowledges that this would reduce risk but voiced concerns that it could be too strict and hurt social drinkers that are not actually impaired. AAA and others have suggested a law that makes ignition interlock devices mandatory after a first offense for drunk driving. AAA plans to pursue this issue in 2016 even though this bill was previously vetoed. Currently, ignition interlock devices are only required for those convicted with a BAC of .15% percent or more and repeat offenders.

New Jersey man charged for heroin, DWI after car crash

Law enforcement authorities reported that a 59-year-old New Jersey man was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and multiple drug offenses after he was involved in a car crash. The accident reportedly happened in Mannington on County Road 631.

According to officers with the New Jersey State Police, they were dispatched to the area following reports of an accident. After responding, officers reportedly found prescription drugs, hypodermic needles and heroin in the possession of the man.

New Jersey driver arrested for DWI

Police in Warren County arrested a driver for a traffic violation only to find that he was intoxicated and pantless as well. Police performed a routine traffic stop on Charles Street at approximately 3:20 a.m. on Jan. 31. The officer was speaking to the driver and noticed the smell of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle.

According to the officer, the 22-year-old driver was not wearing pants or shoes at the time. He also allegedly had a bag of red wine sitting at his feet inside the vehicle. According to the officer, there were 'shopping bags full" of Twisted Tea cans and wine boxes that were empty. The driver faces charges of reckless driving, consumption of alcohol in a vehicle and driving while intoxicated.

New Jersey cops taking drivers into custody for DUI

Hillsborough Township Police started off January 2016 by detaining multiple individuals for DUIs in separate incidents. According to reports, the first police action took place on New Years Day, when an 18-year-old man apparently experienced a wreck on South Branch Road. Police indicted him for not keeping right properly and also charged him with driving under the influence as an underage individual.

The local police blotter said that the second detention occurred about a week later. A 60-year-old local man was stopped on Auten Road, and at the time of reporting, he faced multiple charges related to alleged drunk driving. He was eventually indicted for driving carelessly, operating his motor vehicle recklessly, not signaling before turning and not staying in his own lane.

NTSB calls for lower blood alcohol levels for drivers

The legal status of impairment in New Jersey and nationwide occurs when a driver has a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or higher. The National Transportation Safety Board has deemed this level inadequate for protecting motorists from impaired drivers. In its most recent recommendations for policy improvements, the agency advocated for a new legal blood alcohol content level of 0.05 or lower.

A representative from the agency said that impairment begins before an individual hits the 0.08 mark. Upon reaching the current legal limit, the chances of a person being in a fatal crash doubles. The NTSB cited research that indicated that impairment results for most people with a blood alcohol level of 0.05.

New Jersey man suspected of DWI, found trapped under vehicle

Probable cause is required for law enforcement authorities to pull over motorists and ask for things like breath tests, and a vehicle driving erratically might give an officer enough reason to suspect intoxication. A Rochelle Park man learned the hard way that other things can also give the authorities probable cause after he was found on Jan. 11 stuck under his own 1998 Jeep.

The 58-year-old man was reportedly found in his driveway with his right leg trapped under one of the Jeep's tires, and a 911 call around 8 p.m. alerted the police to the man's predicament. It seems that the man wanted to clear an object blocking his path when he lost his balance and fell while the vehicle was in reverse, and the police and EMS freed the man and secured the vehicle.

Woman beats DUI charge due to rare syndrome

It might be a surprise to New Jersey drivers that a New York judge has dropped a DUI charge against a teacher because she has auto-brewery syndrome. Although the medical condition sounds fake, it is real and makes sufferers appear intoxicated. The woman, a 35-year-old New York resident, was detained in 2014 after a 911 caller reported that she was weaving on the road. Authorities reportedly discovered her driving on a flat tire. The woman's eyes were allegedly bloodshot and glassy, and her speech was slurred. She told officials that she only had three cocktails, but the results of a breath test showed a blood alcohol concentration of .33 percent.

After being charged for DUI, the teacher worked with an expert and spent $7,000 to demonstrate that her body can meet the legal definition of drunk without consuming alcohol. She was diagnosed with auto-brewery syndrome, which makes the body use excess intestinal yeast to transform food into alcohol.