NJ Man Found Not Guilty of Driving While High Although Found with THC in His Blood

Blood testA recent New Jersey case demonstrated why it is so important to get a good DUI / DWI defense attorney if you or someone you know is ever charged with driving under the influence of marijuana.  A South Jersey man, Patrick Miller, was charged with driving while intoxicated in addition to two counts of vehicular homicide in a 2015 accident that took two lives.  Miller was subsequently tested and found to have THC in his blood.  THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.

Based on the results of the blood test, multiple charges were brought and Miller faced up to 20 years in state prison.  Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 12 years if he agreed to plead guilty.  Instead, Miller plead not guilty, sought legal counsel, and went to trial to fight the charges against him.  This past week, he was acquitted, meaning a jury of twelve of his peers agreed that he was not guilty.

The Accident

Patrick Miller’s accident was highlighted in the news after the 28-year-old handyman lost control of his pickup truck and struck a jogger and local teacher, Allison McGinnis.  Miller’s truck then struck a tree, flipped over, and killed his passenger, David Eldridge.

The Blood Test

Miller was airlifted from the crash.  Accordingly, he was given a blood test while receiving medical treatment – blood tests are very common when a driver who is suspected of DUI or DWI is injured.  Because a breathalyzer or breath test cannot be given to a seriously injured driver, police officers will often request a warrant and get a court-ordered blood test to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants.

In this case, police officers administered a blood test to see if Miller was under the influence of any substances.  4 nanograms per milliliter of THC were found in Miller’s blood sample.  Accordingly, prosecutors blamed the accident on intoxication and decided to bring charges including Driving While Intoxicated and vehicular manslaughter, based on the theory that Miller drove his truck recklessly while intoxicated causing two deaths.

The Defense in the Case

Instead of accepting the plea deal, Miller chose to fight the charges against him.  The law requires the state to prove that a driver is actually intoxicated or impaired while operating a motor vehicle.  Experts were presented by both the prosecution and the defense to argue that the blood test results were unreliable in establishing intoxication.  In fact, Miller’s results – the THC reading of 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood – was below the level set as a standard in many of the states that have legal marijuana — 5 nanograms of THC concentration.

Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has cautioned against using blood tests to determine cannabis impairment, and many lawyers and politicians are concerned that this arbitrary standard could lead to false accusations and flawed charges being brought against marijuana users.  One  of the major problems in prosecuting driving while high cases is that marijuana can remain in the blood stream long after a person is no longer impaired or under the influence.

In Miller’s case, other defenses included witness testimony that helped show that he was not driving erratically shortly before the accident, nor was he impaired while performing handyman work 20 minutes before the accident occurred.  Ultimately, a jury agreed with Miller and his attorney that there was not enough evidence to show that Miller was actually intoxicated or impaired while operating his vehicle.

New Jersey Marijuana Driving Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Defend You if You’re Charged

The consequences for driving while high are serious.  If you or someone you know is arrested, charged or convicted, an experienced attorney will know how to defend you in a court of law before a judge and jury.  Hiring the right attorney matters. A good lawyer can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

The New Expungement Law in New Jersey

Expungement-Law-in-New-Jersey

New Provisions Went into Effect on October 1, 2018

Last December, outgoing New Jersey governor Chris Christie signed bill S-3307, enacting significant changes to the state’s expungement laws. Those changes went into effect at the beginning of October.

What is Expungement?

Under New Jersey law, an expungement officially “removes” and isolates all records filed with courts, correctional facilities, law enforcement agencies, juvenile justice agencies, criminal justice agencies or detention centers. That includes any information about your arrest or apprehension, any detention or incarceration, and all trial proceedings. When your petition for expungement is granted, the court will issue an order which states that the crime/offense “shall be deemed not to have occurred.” Your records, however, will not be destroyed, but only sealed.

The New Expungement Law

The new expungement law reduces some waiting periods and adds to the number of convictions for disorderly persons offenses that a person may have expunged. Specifically, the new statute:

  • Shortens the waiting period for expunging felony convictions from 10 to 6 years. You can, however, still seek “early pathway” expungement after 5 years
  • Allows a person to expunge up to four disorderly persons convictions, up from three (provided the applicant has not been convicted of a felony)
  • Allows a person to expunge up to three disorderly persons convictions, up from two, if the applicant has a prior felony conviction
  • Allows a person to expunge more than one felony conviction, but only if the felonies were part of a “crime spree,” listed in a single judgment of conviction
  • Gets rid of the “PTI” bar—Under the prior law, a person who has a felony dismissed as part of a “pre-trial intervention (PTI)” could not subsequently seek expungement of any offense. That provision is no longer part of the law.

Contact Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

To schedule an appointment with an experienced New Jersey DUI defense attorney, contact my office online or call me at 732-257-1137. There is no cost or obligation for your first meeting. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. I accept all major credit cards.

One of the Most Common Days for DUI Arrests – Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday - One of the Most Common Days for DUI ArrestsThis coming Sunday, February 3, 2019, the Los Angeles Rams will be facing off against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Many people will start drinking early in the day.  By the time the game ends over 4 hours later, many people will have had at least a few drinks.  When it comes time to leave, remember: Don’t Drink and Drive on Super Bowl Sunday.

When it comes to holidays normally associated with frequent drinking and driving arrests, most people think of New Year’s Eve, Independence Day, or St. Paddy’s Day.  In fact, Super Bowl Sunday also frequently has one of the highest rates of DUI arrests across the United States for drunk driving, intoxicated driving, and impaired operating of a motor vehicle.  Here at the Edward M. Janzekovich Law Blog, we always like to remind our readers to take simple precautions in order to avoid becoming another statistic.

The Numbers: Super Bowl And DUI

  1. A 9-year-long study conducted by the Automobile Club of Southern California found that drunken driving-related crashes resulting in injuries were 41% higher on Super Bowl Sunday than on other Sundays in January or February. New Year’s Eve was the only night that was worse, with a 44% increase. Christmas was ranked the third most dangerous major holiday.
  2. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over one third of all U.S. traffic deaths during the 2016 Super Bowl involved drunk drivers
  3. The legal limit for blood alcohol content in the United States is .08% BAC (or .05% in Utah). According to BACtrack, a company specializing in smartphone-enabled alcohol breath tests, in 2014, its users recorded an average BAC of .091% on Super Bowl Sunday – high enough to convict the average user of driving while intoxicated and just shy of the average .094% associated with New Year’s Eve.
  4. Data from Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS) – which analyzes the drinking behavior of 530,000 repeat DUI offenders – found that drinking violations by repeat drunk drivers increased an average of 22% nationwide on Super Bowl Sunday, compared to the average Sunday.
  5. Residents in Los Angeles and New England may have even more reason to be worried – statistically, residents in areas associated with one of the teams playing in the Super Bowl experience an even bigger spike in DUIs and DWIs.  In 2015, when the Patriots played in the big game, violations in New England were twice as high as the rest of the country as well as compared to the average Sunday in the region.

How to Avoid Getting Convicted for Drunk Driving on Super Bowl Sunday

New Jersey law enforcement officials are aware of the spike in drinking and driving on Super Bowl Sunday, so police officers across the state will be on high alert.  You can guarantee that police officers across New Jersey will be looking for any sign of intoxication or impairment on the roads this weekend.

The best thing you can do to avoid getting a DUI or DWI this Sunday is to have a plan.  If you are leaving your home to watch the game, consider having a reliable designated driver.  If you end up drinking more than you planned on, consider staying where you are overnight.  Alternatively, use a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other ride share service to get where you are going for the night or to come home.  If you need to, leave your car where it is overnight and get it in the morning.

If you get arrested for DUI or DWI, one of your first steps should be calling an experienced drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible.  A good attorney can take action to protect your rights.  No matter what day of the year it is, a conviction for drunk driving in New Jersey will result in serious fines, penalties, and consequences that can affect yourself, your job, your family, and  your loved ones.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Act to Protect Your Rights

If you or someone you know is arrested, charged or convicted of drunk driving this winter, calling a good lawyer is the most important thing you can do.  An experienced lawyer will work to review your case and defend you in Court. A good lawyer can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

More New Canadian DWI Laws Including Blood Alcohol Content Extrapolation

DWILast week on the Edward M. Janzekovich Law Blog, we discussed several new laws being enacted in Canada and compared those laws to New Jersey’s statutes on intoxicated driving.  Canada’s new laws against driving impairment are already be called among the toughest in the world, and many would say they are even harsher than New Jersey’s already strict laws that aim to penalize and/or prevent drunk driving.

We previously went over how Canadian police officers are now permitted to pull over a vehicle and ask the driver to submit to a breath test at random without cause, and anyone convicted will be subjected to even harder consequences.

This week, we will discuss Canada’s law that allows police officers to extrapolate or determine a driver’s blood alcohol content at the time the driver was driving, even 10 hours after the person was driving.  This provision for extrapolating BAC is extremely harsh, because a driver can be convicted long after he or she puts down the keys.

Canada’s Provision for Determining a Driver’s Past BAC

Under Canada’s legal system, a police officer may take a driver’s blood sample at any time after he or she was driving and then use a formula to count back and figure out the driver’s past BAC.  This means that law enforcement officials can arrest a driver and take his or her blood sample long after the person is out of the car and no longer driving.  This blood sample can then be tested, and the results can be adjusted based on the formula to approximate the driver’s BAC hours earlier, when he or she was driving.

As long as there is a minimum of 20 milligrams of alcohol in the blood at the time of testing, police officers are entitled to add 10 mg of alcohol for every hour to determine what the person’s BAC was even 10 hours earlier.  The law has no provisions for account for things that could affect the results, like weight, genetics, food intake, drugs, disease, or other factors.

New Jersey’s Law Requiring a Blood Draw Within a Reasonable Time

Previously, Canadian law enforcement were required to obtain blood samples within two hours of the person driving.  This is similar to the current law in New Jersey.

When somebody is charged with drunk driving in the Garden State, one of the ways the New Jersey law enforcement can prove DUI or DWI is by introducing evidence that the driver’s BAC was above the legal limit of .08% or higher.  Because a breathalyzer cannot be used in all situations, police officers are sometimes required to request a blood draw.  For instance, a driver who is involved in a car accident may be unconscious or too injured to provide a breath sample.  In those cases, the investigating officer may attempt to get a blood sample, either by getting a warrant, getting consent, or proving exigent circumstances.

If a blood draw is taken, the general rule in New Jersey is that the blood sample must be taken in a reasonable period of time from when the driver was last driving.  A blood draw taken within a reasonable time period of the encounter is necessary to ensure that the BAC fairly reflects the level of intoxication when the motorist was operating his or her vehicle.

New Jersey has no provision allowing for extrapolating or approximating BAC backwards to the time the driver was driving involving a charge of NJSA 39:4-50. Therefore, unlike under the new Canadian law, a good attorney in New Jersey may be able to have any blood BAC evidence dismissed if he or she can show that there was an unreasonable delay in obtaining the sample or if there was an intervening incident – such as additional drinking, eating, taking medications, etc. – that could affect a driver’s results or condition.

How a Lawyer Can Help if You are Arrested or Charged in NJ

As noted last week, Canada’s new laws have been specifically redesigned to make defending against DUI and DWI charges harder.  In New Jersey, getting a good lawyer as soon as possible can still make a huge difference, and an attorney may even be able to have the case dismissed completely.  If you or someone you know is charged with driving while intoxicated, an experienced lawyer will be able to review the evidence against you and put up the best defense on your behalf.

New Jersey DUI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Is There for You If You’ve Been Charged with Drunk Driving

DWI/DUI cases can often involve complicated issues of evidence, and successfully challenging that evidence requires knowledge and experience about the law.  If you or someone you know is facing a DWI charge, a knowledgeable drunk driving attorney can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

Drunk Driving in a Self-Driving Car

Drunk Driving in a Self Driving CarThese days, there isn’t a lot that a car can’t do. They can parallel park for you, help you stay in your lane, apply the brakes and, amazingly, even drive for you.  Self-driving cars, also known as autonomous vehicles, are famously made by Google and Tesla, but all major manufacturers have plans to roll out with driver-less vehicles in the next few years.  These vehicles of the future are expected to increase fuel efficiency and decrease the number of car accidents, since studies show that most motor vehicle accidents are due to human error.

In theory, many people stand to benefit from this technology, including anyone who might otherwise plan to get behind the wheel while distracted.  For instance, one of the first things that many people think is that this technology will eliminate the need to worry about drinking and driving.  It would be natural to assume that you can go out to your favorite bar, have a few beers, summon your vehicle to pick you up at the door step, and get home without doing anything more than tell the vehicle, “take me home.”  Unfortunately, this might just be a fantasy.  In reality, things are much more complicated.

With new developments in the self-driving car industry over the last few years, lawmakers and citizens alike have started asking whether someone can be convicted of a DUI/DWI if he or she is behind the ‘wheel’ of a self-driving car. Unfortunately, there is not a clear legal answer to that question yet in New Jersey. There are very few truly self-driving cars on the roads right now in the country, so a case involving a self-driving car and a DUI/DWI conviction simply has not yet come up in court.  However, based upon pending legislation and news, the answer seems to be pointing toward “yes,” you will be able to be convicted of a DUI/DWI while operating a self-driving car if you are pulled-over and found to be intoxicated while behind the wheel in this State.

Driver Assistance Technology vs. Autopilot

First, it is important to recognize that many cars on the road already include some of the technology that is in a self-driving car – including automatic parallel parking, automatic braking, and the ability to match speeds with other vehicles in cruise control. These features, by themselves, do not make a car fully-autonomous.  For the most part, the person behind the wheel in one of these vehicles is still in control and is considered “driving.”  Such a driver could definitely be convicted of drunk driving.

Tesla is one of the few manufacturers that includes an auto-pilot feature, which is one of the closest things to self-driving currently available.  However, even Tesla Motors specifically states that its auto-steer feature is currently still in testing, and that it should only be used on highways where there are clear lane markings or where there is another vehicle that can be directly followed.  The feature also requires the driver to periodically touch the wheel or else the feature will turn off.  Therefore, a person behind the wheel of a Tesla is still driving and is still expected to control the vehicle in certain situations and take over when the car’s computers cannot do so.  Therefore, a court will likely find that someone operating a car in autopilot could still be convicted for driving while intoxicated.

Laws Requiring Ignition Interlock Devices on All Self-Driving Cars

At some point, cars will become even smarter than they are now.  For that reason, legislators are already preparing to address those people who will want to drink and get behind the wheel of a self-driving car.  A new bill that was introduced in 2016 wants to make it a requirement for all self-driving cars sold in New Jersey to have an ignition interlock device installed in order to prevent drivers from starting the vehicle while intoxicated and evading state statutes that prohibit drunk driving. The bill, which was introduced by Assemblywoman Nancy J. Pinkin, is currently still making its way through legislative committees.

Self-Driving Vehicles and Driving Drunk

Whether or not laws like the ignition interlock requirement pass, legislators across the country are leaning towards considering any person who is behind the wheel of a vehicle to be driving, whether the car is self-driving or autonomous or completely manual.  This is because drivers in autonomous vehicles will still be seated in the driver’s seat, and will be expected to monitor the car and be available to take control in case of an emergency.  Regardless of whether a vehicle is in auto-steer or autopilot mode, the person behind the wheel will still be able to use the brake pedal and the accelerator if necessary.  This person could also take over from the computer if he or she wanted.

For that reason, the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, considers driving to include the actions that require a person to start the car, enter destination instructions and put the car into self-driving mode.

When it comes to DUIs and DWIs, what this means is that anyone who is behind the wheel of a self-driving vehicle can be considered the driver and in actual control of the car.  If you are pulled over and found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a court will be able to say that you are still in actual, physical control of the car.  Therefore, you could still be found guilty of DUI.  If you find yourself charged with driving under the influence at any time, no matter what technology is available in your vehicle, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney who can review the complicated facts of your case and explain to you what your rights.

New Jersey DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Help Persons Suspected of Driving Drunk

If you have been arrested, charged or convicted of DWI/DUI, refusal to submit to a breath test, or driving with a restricted license, you could be facing serious penalties – jail time, heavy fines, and loss of license – that can seriously affect your ability to care and provide for yourself or your loved ones.  No matter the charges, it is extremely important to contact an experienced attorney who can explain what rights you have and is prepared to present the best defense in your case.  A good lawyer can make all the difference.   To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

How a Drunk Driving Conviction Could Affect Your Ability to Practice Law

Lit up police car lights during nighttimePerhaps you or someone you know are debating applying to law school and have a DUI/DWI conviction that is 5, 10 or even 20 years old. Or perhaps you are in your second year of law school and recently had one drink too many while at a school function and were unfortunately arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. One of the first thoughts running through your mind might be how this incident may affect your chances of being admitted to practice law – in New Jersey or any other state.

At the end of the day, the issue of whether or not you will be permitted to practice law with a record or history of driving while intoxicated is “it depends.”  For that reason, if you are facing current or recent charges for DUI or DWI, it is important to get an attorney immediately.  An attorney may also be able to appeal and possibly overturn past convictions.  If the DWI/DUI appears on your record, it could make it harder to be admitted to practice law or even be cause for your license to be denied.  In addition to the fines, potential jail time, and loss of a driver’s license faced by every drunk driving defendant, a DUI conviction could seriously affect your ability to work or provide for your family and loved ones.

Lengthy Background Investigation

In order to become a licensed attorney, an individual must both graduate from an accredited law school and pass the bar exam for the state he/she wishes to practice in. However, even if you achieve these two things, in order to be admitted to practice, an individual is required to show that they are of sufficient character and fitness to be an attorney.

Each state conducts its own character and fitness investigation in various ways, including New Jersey.  The sometimes-lengthy process typically involves providing fingerprints and submitting to a detailed background check, including personal references.  If you have been convicted of Driving While Intoxicated or Refusing to Submit to a Breath Test in New Jersey at any point in time, it will appear on your driving record, and the Bar Admission review board will see it.  Out-of-state convictions will also likely appear on your permanent driving record.

In general, most minor offenses will not prevent an otherwise qualified applicant from Bar Admission in a given state, including New Jersey.  Convictions for DUI/DWI are treated more seriously than minor offenses, but less seriously than felonies or crimes.  For that reason, the circumstances surrounding any drunk driving record, including the number of offenses, will be considered as a potential aggravating factor.

New Jersey bar applicants whose backgrounds may be a little more complicated, such as those with a DWI conviction, generally face a more detailed inquiry. This may mean a lengthier investigation, with more conversations with previous employers, review of treatment records, or potentially even inquires with old high school friends. It is very possible that an applicant will be found of sufficient character and fitness after the lengthier inquiry, even with one drunk driving conviction.  Unfortunately, this may not be true in every state.

Character and Fitness and Substance Abuse

According to the American Bar Association, one of the top four areas of concern for bar examiners in evaluation character and fitness is untreated substance abuse. The Bar Examiners will pay particular attention to recent convictions, multiple convictions, and the circumstances surrounding any conviction.

The bar examiners are much more likely to find an applicant who has a DUI conviction and sought treatment to be of sufficient character and fitness, rather than someone who did not seek out help. Essentially, treatment is viewed as a plus, not a minus. However, even if you did not seek out treatment at the time of your offense or conviction, it does not mean that you will be denied admission to the bar. Each person and each case are different, and the board of bar examiners understands this.

How an Drunk Driving Attorney Can Help

If you want to become a lawyer, or work in any number of other professions, your DUI/DWI record could make it difficult or impossible to become professionally licensed.  It is imperative to understand all of the ways in which a DUI/DWI charge or conviction can affect your permanent record. If you or someone you know has been charged or convicted of drunk driving, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A good lawyer can aggressively fight pending DUI charges and may even be able to appeal and overturn old convictions, wiping them from your permanent record.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Understands How a Conviction Can Affect Your Career and Livelihood

The penalties for drunk driving are severe.  For some, it can even mean the loss of a professional license, in addition to fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges.  If you or someone you know is charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, it is extremely important to contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney who can explain your rights to you and vigorously defend you. If you go to court, an experienced lawyer can also make sure you get the best result possible and can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

The Requirements for Conducting a Blood Alcohol Test in New Jersey

Blood-Alcohol-Test-in-New-Jersey

After a long day at work, you stopped at your favorite watering hole and had a couple beers with your pals. As you’re headed home, a police officer notices that you have a tail light that’s not working, or you don’t come to a complete stop at a light. If the officer pulls you over, can he or she ask you to submit to a blood alcohol test, even if you weren’t driving erratically and there are no visible signs of intoxication? Does the law place any restrictions on when and whether you can be required to take a blood alcohol content test?

As the law is currently construed in New Jersey, before a police officer can require that you submit to a blood alcohol test, one of two things must happen: the officer must either get your verbal consent to a test, or the police officer must have a warrant. That’s because drawing your blood is considered a search, covered by the protections found in the 4th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.

That’s not to say, though, that there won’t be consequences if you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test. While the refusal to take the test cannot be construed as evidence of guilt, you can face automatic suspension of your driving privileges. New Jersey adheres to the law of implied consent, which means that, by getting behind the wheel, you automatically consent to a blood alcohol test if one is requested. As a practical matter, it’s generally better to voluntarily submit to the BAC test and try to challenge the validity of the findings, if necessary.

A police officer cannot “force” you to take a blood alcohol test. Nonetheless, the officer may obtain a “telephonic warrant,” where a judge grants a verbal warrant based on the circumstances.

Contact Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact my office online or call me at 732-257-1137. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. I accept all major credit cards.

Wishing Everyone a Happy and Safe New Year Into 2019

A police officer holds the breath test machine for a suspectEvery year at this time, we at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog like to wish all of our readers a safe and Happy  New Year.  At the same time, we also would like to remind everyone that New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for drunk driving and DUI/DWI arrests.  If you can, avoid the roads – especially if you’ve had even one drink.  In New Jersey, law enforcement officials across the state will be on high alert for the slightest signs of drunk driving or suspicious, erratic behavior.

In fact, for the entire month of December 2018, police officers across the state will be stepping up their efforts to curb drunk driving during the annual “Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over” campaign during the holidays.  This year, 161 New Jersey police departments in 21 counties have received special funding to increase overtime for patrol officers looking to pull over.  If you or someone you know is thinking about drinking and driving on New Year’s Eve, there is a good chance that you will get caught.

161 New Jersey Towns and Police Departments with Increased Holiday OT Patrols

This year, the state Division of Highway and Traffic Safety handed  out over $775,500 to towns and law enforcement agencies to spend on increased overtime for police staff.  This represents an increase from last year, when 128 departments received the grant.  Last year, an additional 200 departments participated at their own expense, and it is likely that a similar number will participate this year.

During this time, police departments aim to increase visibility and enforcement.  Departments across the start will attempt to prevent drunk driving in the first place by using sobriety checkpoints and having more patrol cars on the roads in visible areas.

The following municipalities and departments will be participating:

Atlantic County

  1. Atlantic City
  2. Egg Harbor Twp
  3. Galloway PD
  4. Mullica PD
  5. Bergen County
  6. Bogota PD
  7. Cliffside Park PD
  8. Edgewater PD
  9. Emerson PD
  10. Fort Lee PD
  11. Garfield PD
  12. Lodi PD
  13. Mahwah PD
  14. New Milford PD
  15. Old Tappan PD
  16. Ramsey PD
  17. Ridgewood PD
  18. Wyckoff PD

Burlington County

  1. Bordentown PD
  2. Bordentown Twp PD
  3. Burlington PD
  4. Cinnaminson PD
  5. Delanco PD
  6. Delran PD
  7. Lumberton PD
  8. New Hanover PD
  9. Riverside PD.00

Camden County

  1. Barrington PD
  2. Camden County Metro
  3. Gloucester Twp PD
  4. Haddonfield PD
  5. Lindenwold PD
  6. Pine Hill PD
  7. Stratford PD
  8. Winslow PD
  9. Cape May County
  10. Middle PD

Cumberland County

  1. Millville PD
  2. Essex County
  3. Belleville PD
  4. Bloomfield PD
  5. Cedar Grove PD
  6. Essex County Sheriff
  7. Montclair PD
  8. West Caldwell PD
  9. West Orange PD

Gloucester County

  1. Clayton PD
  2. Deptford PD
  3. East Greenwich PD
  4. Franklin PD
  5. Glassboro PD
  6. Greenwich PD
  7. Harrison PD
  8. Mantua PD
  9. Monroe PD
  10. Pitman PD
  11. Rowan University PD
  12. Washington PD
  13. Westville PD
  14. Woodbury Heights PD
  15. Woodbury PD
  16. Woolwich PD

Hudson County

  1. Bayonne PD
  2. Harrison PD
  3. Hoboken PD
  4. Hudson County Sheriff
  5. Kearny PD
  6. North Bergen Twp PD
  7. Union City PD
  8. West New York PD

Hunterdon County

  1. Clinton PD
  2. Clinton Twp PD.
  3. Flemington PD
  4. Frenchtown PD
  5. Lebanon PD
  6. Raritan PD
  7. Readington PD
  8. West Amwell PD

Mercer County

  1. East Windsor PD
  2. Ewing PD
  3. Hamilton PD
  4. Hightstown PD
  5. New Jersey State Park Police
  6. Robbinsville PD
  7. West Windsor PD

Middlesex County

  1. Dunellen PD
  2. Edison PD
  3. Middlesex PD
  4. North Brunswick PD
  5. Plainsboro PD
  6. South Brunswick PD
  7. Spotswood PD

Monmouth County

  1. Aberdeen PD
  2. Allentown PD
  3. Asbury Park PD
  4. Deal PD
  5. Eatontown PD
  6. Freehold Twp PD
  7. Holmdel PD
  8. Marlboro PD
  9. Middletown PD
  10. Monmouth Beach PD
  11. Ocean PD
  12. Spring Lake Heights PD

Morris County

  1. Boonton Township PD
  2. Chester Twp PD
  3. Denville PD
  4. Dover PD
  5. Hanover PD
  6. Jefferson PD
  7. Montville PD
  8. Morris County Park Police
  9. Morris Twp PD
  10. Mount Olive PD
  11. Parsippany-Troy Hills PD
  12. Randolph PD
  13. Roxbury PD

Ocean County

  1. Barnegat PD
  2. Bay Head PD
  3. Berkeley PD
  4. Jackson PD
  5. Lakehurst PD
  6. Manchester PD
  7. Ocean Gate PD
  8. Point Pleasant Beach PD
  9. Point Pleasant PD

Passaic County

  1. Bloomingdale PD
  2. Little Falls PD
  3. Passaic PD
  4. Wanaque PD
  5. Wayne PD

Salem County

  1. Penns Grove PD

Somerset County

  1. Bedminster PD
  2. Bernards PD
  3. Bernardsville PD
  4. Bound Brook PD
  5. Branchburg PD
  6. Bridgewater PD
  7. Far Hills PD
  8. Franklin PD
  9. Green Brook PD
  10. Hillsborough PD
  11. Manville PD
  12. Montgomery PD
  13. North Plainfield PD
  14. Peapack Gladstone PD
  15. Raritan PD
  16. Somerset County Sheriff
  17. Somerville PD
  18. South Bound Brook PD
  19. Warren PD
  20. Watchung PD

Sussex County

  1. Hopatcong PD
  2. Sparta PD
  3. Vernon PD

Union County

  1. Berkeley Heights PD
  2. Clark PD
  3. Elizabeth PD
  4. Linden PD
  5. Plainfield PD
  6. Rahway PD
  7. Roselle Park PD
  8. Union PD.00

Warren County

  1. Independence PD

What Police Officers Are Looking For

In order to prevent drunk driving accidents and improve safety, NJ Cops will be performing random stops of vehicles at police checkpoints, looking for signs of inebriation and impairment.  Checkpoints are a reminder that drivers should not be behind the wheel after drinking.  If you see a checkpoint ahead, you are permitted to pull over or turn around before reaching the checkpoint.  Police officers would rather drivers call a taxi or Uber than be caught driving drunk.

Additionally, police officers will be pull over any suspicious vehicles.  Law enforcement officials are trained to look for cars driving aggressively, speeding, swerving, or driving without headlights.  If a vehicle is pulled over for one of these reasons, it will be considered a legal stop, and it could lead to a DUI or DWI if the driver is found drunk.

For all these reasons, we at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog urge all of our readers to avoid drinking and driving and to celebrate the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 safely.  Happy New Year!

New Jersey DUI/DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Is There for You at the End of this Year and Into the Next

If you or someone you know is pulled over or arrested for drunk driving during the holidays, you can expect that New Jersey state and county prosecutors will prosecute the case aggressively.  A good lawyer who knows the ins-and-outs of DUI and DWI law can be the best defense.  Having an experienced drunk driving lawyer can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

Happy Holidays from The Law Offices of Edward Janzekovich, LLC

The Law Offices of Edward Janzekovich LLCAt this time of year we stop and reflect on what matters most: our families, our friends, and our relationships with trusted clients like you. Thank you for choosing us; we will continue to work hard in the new year to deserve your trust. We wish you all the blessings of a peaceful holiday with those you love.

Comparing Alcohol by Volume (ABV) Between Modern Drinks and the Standard Drink

Cocktail drinks on barYou may have heard the old adage that “A drink is a drink is a drink.”  The saying means that one beer is equal in strength to one glass of wine is equal to one mixed drink or one shot.  Once upon a time, this saying probably held a little more truth.  Unfortunately, these days with the extreme variation in alcoholic beverages available (from craft beers to session ales to craft distillers and cask strength whisky), one drink can mean many things to different people – and the alcohol content of one drink can vary wildly.  Of course, that means that the way each person is affected by different drinks can vary wildly, too.

When it comes to blood alcohol content (BAC), you may have also heard that having only one drink per hour will probably keep you sober enough to drive.  This is based on the belief that the average human liver can process one drink’s worth of alcohol in one hour.  Unfortunately, that also may not be true.  Depending on who you are and what you’re drinking, having more or less than one drink per hour can still be enough to put your BAC over the legal limit of .08% BAC, resulting in intoxication and making it illegal for you to get behind the wheel.

What is the Standard Drink?

When the standard drink was first defined, the definition considered that the majority of alcoholic beverages being consumed were largely similar.  Until recently, the average beer drinker had access to regular beer (like Budweiser or Coors Banquet) that had about a 5% alcohol content or a light beer (like Bud Light or Miller Light) that had 4.2% alcohol by volume.  Wine drinkers drank wine that was about 12% alcohol, and liquor drinkers had drinks that were 1.5 fluid ounces and 40% abv or 80 proof.

Comparing Alcohol by Volume

Click Image for full size view

This graphic from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) summarizes the traditional view:

Craft Beer and Other Modern Drinks

Unfortunately, the standard drink model is less applicable in 2018.  According to one study, the average craft beer sold in 2014 was 5.9% ABV, nearly 18% stronger than a traditional regular beer.  Nowadays, there are many beers available at bars that are 10% ABV or more.  Dogfish Head, one of the nation’s largest independent craft breweries regularly makes beer that is around 18% ABV (World Wide Stout, 120 Minute IPA, Fort, and others).  One 12-ounce beer that is 18% ABV is stronger than 4 Bud Lights!

Similarly, craft distilleries and non-standard liquor offerings are becoming more popular.  Single barrel bourbons and cask strength whiskies are widely available.  Cask strength means that the liquor is not diluted from the liquor available in the barrel where the liquor is aged.  This will vary from one liquor to the next, from one brand to the next, and from one year to the next.  For comparison, however, Maker’s Mark is a popular bourbon that is normally sold at 45% ABV or 90 proof.  One recent bottle of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is 55.65% ABV or 111.3 proof.  This means that the Cask Strength version can get you intoxicated nearly 25% faster.

What this Means for Intoxication

Under New Jersey’s drunk driving law, it doesn’t matter how many drinks you’ve had.  You can be arrested and charged if you are driving while intoxicated, meaning you can be convicted of DUI or DWI if you are impaired.  If a blood alcohol test or breathalyzer test finds that your BAC is over .08%, you can be convicted even if you don’t feel drunk and your driving isn’t affected.  This means that the law doesn’t care if you’ve only had one drink, since one STRONG drink can actually be more alcoholic than four light drinks and can get you drunk 4 times faster!

Therefore, we at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog always recommend that you have a designated driver or call a taxi or Uber if you’ve had even one drink.  If you or someone you know is pulled over after drinking, telling a police officer you only had one drink may not mean anything.  Instead, we recommend keeping what you say to a minimum, because anything you say can be used against you.  If you or someone you know is arrested, charged, or convicted, calling a good attorney as soon as possible will be the best defense.

New Jersey DUI Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Is There If You’ve Been Arrested, Charged, or Convicted

A DUI/DWI charge for operating a motor vehicle will involve many complicated evidential issues. Such a charge can also result in severe penalties that affect you and your loved ones. If you are charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence of any substance in New Jersey, an experienced DWI/DUI attorney can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.