Actor Sam Shepard was arrested for DWI in New Mexico on May 25, 2015 after the police were investigating a possible drunk driver call. According to the reports, Mr. Shepard exhibited outward signs of intoxication of bloodshot watery eyes , and an odor of alcohol (presumably on his breath) and he admitted to consuming “roughly” 2 tequila type drinks. He refused to give a breath sample and failed the field sobriety tests. Mr. Shepard was booked into the Santa Fe County Jail on a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated
In New Jersey, a typical DWI conviction is a traffic violation, and not a criminal offense. However, the penalties associated with it are severe. If found guilty of a DUI/DWI in New Jersey, you will be exposed to a loss of license (90 days to 10 years, depending on your history), be required to attend counseling classes (IDRC, minimum of 12 hours and a lot longer if they determine you need more counseling), possible jail up to 6 months depending on your history, community service, monetary fines, State surcharges, possible interlock device in your car, and insurance points. If in a school zone, some of the penalties are doubled – a school zone is any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of such school property.
A onetime lapse of judgment can be devastating. That is just from the State alone. Most people require a drivers license to either work, attend school, or perform simple family tasks on a daily basis.
How you perform on the standardized field sobriety tests you are asked to complete will most times be the decision point of whether or not you are arrested for DWI. When evaluating your performance post arrest, many factors are considered, some common ones are: The area you were performing the tests – lighting, flat level surface, free of debris, foot wear, existing medical conditions; the instructions and demonstrations provided so that you could understand what is actually being asked of you to do, the level of training of persons involved, and was your performance correctly interpreted to the Standard.
In New Jersey, you are required to give a breath sample if the police have reasonable suspicion that you were drinking and driving. Refusing to give that sample will lead to additional charges and penalties.
Sam Shepard article: