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Slow driving leads to traffic stop and drunk driving charge

Police in New Jersey took three men into custody on May 24 after a vehicle aroused the suspicions of an officer because it was being driven slowly. The events unfolded in Toms River at approximately 10:20 p.m. Driving at an excessively slow speed has been cited by police officers as probable cause for a traffic stop.

According to a report from the Toms River Police Department, an officer observed a car being driven slowly in the westbound lanes of Route 37. A subsequent records check is said to have revealed that the car had been reported stolen from a Bridgewater address. After pulling over on Garfield Avenue, the car was approached by several officers and the three male occupants were taken into custody.

The driver of the car was charged with DWI, possession of a stolen vehicle and driving with a revoked driver's license. His two passengers face charges related to the allegedly stolen car. The driver's bail has been set at $25,000 while his two passengers were released with summonses. A background check is said to have revealed that the driver had outstanding warrants in Bridgewater and Somerville.

While reports of this incident indicate why police officers became interested in the slow moving vehicle, they do not reveal what led officers to determine that the driver was intoxicated. Law enforcement officers often rely on the results of a roadside breath test to determine impairment, but these results may sometimes be challenged by a criminal defense attorney. The equipment used to perform these tests is highly sophisticated, but it may not yield accurate data when strict maintenance protocols are not followed. When the evidence relied upon to establish impairment is compelling, an attorney may seek to have drunk driving charges reduced during plea negotiations by bringing mitigating factors to the attention of the prosecutor.

Source:, Toms River Patch, "'Excessively Slow' Speed Chase Leads To Driver's DWI Arrest", Karen Wall, May 26, 2015

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