DWI and DUI Results

2014 – Municipal Court: This was one of the longest (over a year and a half) and most bitterly fought DWI cases of the attorney’s career.  Client was pulled over for failure to maintain a lane.  The Officer stated that when he approached the vehicle he smelled alcohol and asked the Client to step out of the vehicle for a field sobriety test.  The officer contended that the client failed this test.   The Client was taken to the police station for an AlcoTest to determine her blood alcohol content (“BAC”) which was reportedly over the legal limit.  Client was charged with 39:4-50 Driving While Intoxicated, 39:4-96 Reckless Driving, and 39:4-88B Failure to Maintain Lane and was facing a 7 month to one year suspension of her driver’s license.

Result:  Before an AlcoTest can be administered there must be a 20 minute waiting period. The Officer had not properly noted the waiting time in the police reports, but, was going to testify that he had properly conducted the 20 minute observation.  Investigation by the attorney found that this Officer had on two previous occasions been accused of falsifying information in a police report.   The Prosecutor refused to turn over documentation concerning the charges and the attorney filed a series of motions asserting this was Brady Material (exculpatory evidence that the State must turn over).  Eventually we prevailed on the motions and received both internal affairs investigation reports and reports from the County Prosecutor concerning this Officer.   We also obtained an expert’s report stating that the validity of the alcotest readings was dependent upon the Officer’s credibility as to the 20 minute observation period.

As the trial was starting, the State agreed to dismiss the DWI (39:4-50)  and 39:4-88B Failure to Maintain Lane.  Client pled guilty to Reckless Driving and received a 35 day suspension of driving privileges with a $239 in court fines and fees.


2014 – Municipal Court: Client stopped for swerving over lanes of highway.  Upon approaching the vehicle, the Officer smelled alcohol and asked the Client to exit the vehicle in order to perform field sobriety tests. The Client failed to properly perform the necessary tests and was taken into custody.  The Client was given an AlcoTest where he registered a .13% Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”). Client was charged with 39:4-50 Driving While Intoxicated; 39:4-88B Failure to Maintain Lane; and39:4-96 Reckless Driving. Since this was an upper tier DWI he was facing a 7 month to one year suspension of driving privileges.

Result: Attorney had data downloads from Alcotest analyzed by an expert and found a possible 2 minute lock-out issue.  Based upon this, Prosecutor consented to the charge being reduced to a lower tier DWI with only a 3 month suspension. All of the other charges were dismissed. Client was sentenced to 12 hours IDRC and paid approximately $750 in court fines and fees.


2014 - Municipal Court:  Client was pulled over when police officer observe him crossing over yellow line and almost hitting an oncoming vehicle. During the stop the Client was unresponsive and unable to communicate with the Officer. Client was taken to the police station after failing a field sobriety test. Upon arrival at station, client was so intoxicated that the Officer was concerned for his health and called for an ambulance.  Client was hospitalized for acute intoxication.  The Client was  charged with 39:4-96 Reckless Driving; 39:4-50 Driving While Intoxicated; 39:4-50(g)(1) DWI in a School Zone; 39:3-76 Failure to Wear a Seatbelt;  and 39:4-88b Failure to Maintain Lane.  This was Client’s 3rd DWI. Client was facing a 20 year license suspension (because of the DWI in a School Zone), 6 months in jail, and fines.

Result: Attorney obtained a dismissal of the DWI in a School Zone charge.  Client pled guilty to DWI, all other charges were dismissed.  Attorney successfully argued that the 6 months in jail which is mandatory for a 3rd offense DWI should not be imposed because one of the prior offenses occurred in Maryland and the client had entered a guilty plea while unrepresented by counsel (State v. Laurick).  Sentence was fines, 48 hours IDRC, 10 year suspension of driving privileges, and a 3 year interlock device.


2014- Municipal Court: Police were dispatched to the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Client admitted to officer that he had been drinking.  The Client was arrested and taken back to the station and after the 20 minute observation period was concluded, submitted two breath samples resulting in an alcotest reading of .08% Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) which is exactly the legal limit for conviction.   The Client was  charged with 39:4-50, Driving while intoxicated, 39:4-96, Reckless Driving, 39:4-51B,    Prohibition of possession of open/unsealed alcoholic beverage container, and 39:4-88, Traffic on marked Lane.

Result:  The attorney obtained an expert report questioning whether the 20 minute period was in fact direct, continuous, and uninterrupted before the first sample and whether the officer actually checked and or inspected the oral cavity of the client for foreign substances.

In addition the expert conducted an analysis of the machine readings which concluded based upon the precision tolerance of the machine that the readings could be as low as .0788% (which would be under the legal limit).   Based upon this the DWI was dismissed.

The client pled guilty to Reckless Driving and Open Container and was fined $362 with a 30 day suspension of driving privileges.


2014 – Municipal Court: Client was pulled over by Officer after crossing over the center line while making a right hand turn and then failing to stop at a stop sign. Client smelled of alcohol and failed a field sobriety test.   At the police station the Client refused to submit to an Alcotest.  Client was charged with 39:4-50 Driving While Intoxicated; 39:4-50.2 Refusal to Submit to Breath Testing; 39:4-96 Reckless Driving; 39:4-88B Failure to Maintain Lane; two counts of 39:4-144 Failure to Stop; 39:4-50(g)(1) DWI within 1,000 feet of a School Zone; and 39:3-29 Failure to produce a registration card. As this was a 2nd offense client was facing a loss of license of 4 years on the DWI (as it was in a school zone) and 2 years on the Refusal.

Result: Attorney obtained an Expert’s Report challenging the results of the psycho-physical testing and got a dismissal of the DWI and DWI in a School Zone.  Client pled guilty to the Refusal and received 48 hours IDRC, a 2 year suspension of driving privileges, 1 year interlock device after suspension is over, and approximately $1,000 in court fines and fees.

All of the other charges were dismissed.


2014: Municipal Court: Client was pulled over for failing to maintain his lane. Upon approaching the vehicle, the Officer smelled alcohol and asked the Client to exit the vehicle in order to perform field sobriety tests.  The Client failed to properly perform the necessary tests and was taken into custody for suspicion of DWI. After being taken into custody client said he had two beers and a shot of Patron.  The Client was given an AlcoTest where he registered a .10% Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”). The Client was  charged with 39:4-50, Driving while intoxicated, 39:4-96, Reckless driving, 39:4-97, Careless driving, 39:4-81, Running red light, and 39:4-88, Failure to maintain lane and was facing a 7 month to 1 year loss of driver’s license for this upper tier DWI.

Result:   The attorney made an argument with respect to the margin of error on the alcotest and the Prosecutor agreed to reduce the charge to a lower tier DWI to which the client pled guilty and received a 3 month suspension of driving privileges.   All other charges were dismissed.

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