The Constitutionality of Roadblocks in DWI Cases

We are frequently asked about the constitutionality (legality) of roadblocks which result in DWI charges in New Jersey. The constitutionality of police roadblocks was addressed in the 1979 United States Supreme Court case of Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648 (1979). In Prouse, the Supreme Court held that it was unconstitutional to stop and detain a driver absent articulable suspicion that a Continue Reading...

Under the Influence of Alcohol

The working definition of "under the influence of alcohol" as related by the case law has not changed much in the past 100 years. In State v. Emery, the New Jersey Supreme Court quoted with approval a definition that dated back to at least 1917. The court held "N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 penalizes a person who drives while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Although prosecutions pursuant to these Continue Reading...

Strategies to Avoiding Incarceration in DWI Cases

The penalties for a third offense of Driving While Intoxicated under New Jersey’s DWI Statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, are substantial and include 180 days of jail. While 90 days of the term of incarceration may be served in an inpatient rehabilitation facility with the approval of the sentencing Court, 90 days must be served in prison and most County Sheriff’s Offices have a blanket prohibition against Continue Reading...

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test is a fairly new field sobriety test in New Jersey drinking and driving cases. This is one of the field sobriety tests law enforcement officers use when conducting DWI traffic stops. If the breathalyzer or blood test results are not conclusive, the State will attempt to use these field sobriety results to prove intoxication. In State v. Maida 332 NJ Super Continue Reading...

Field Sobriety Tests

Police are generally required to conduct Field Sobriety Tests before issuing a summons for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence. These physical and psychological tests are intended to provide the police with information necessary to determine whether an individual is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The tests are also necessary because a police officer must possess Continue Reading...