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New Jersey officers probed for DWI handling of fellow trooper

A DUI can be an embarrassment and inconvenience to people in a variety of professions
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    January 18, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- New Jersey officers probed for DWI handling of fellow trooper

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Thousands of New Jersey drivers make the mistake of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol every year, to the detriment and danger of everyone in the state. Unfortunately, this mistake happens to a wide variety of people, in every profession, including law enforcement. The law does not give preferential treatment to anyone, however, no matter their station in life.

Recently the state Attorney General's office began an investigation into whether several New Jersey state troopers impeded the investigation of a fellow trooper who crashed his patrol car while intoxicated. The incident occurred on July 25, 2012, when a trooper was called into duty at 2:45 a.m. as part of an emergency response unit. He left his home in his patrol car and crashed his unmarked cruiser into two parked cars, left his cruiser in a nearby creek and fled the scene. He was charged with DUI, careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The trooper pled guilty to the charges, had his license suspended for three months and was fined $514. The trooper is currently suspended from duty without pay.

The Attorney General's office is now investigating whether to pursue criminal charges against fellow troopers for attempting to cover up the incident. No charges have been filed against any trooper as of yet but the investigation is ongoing.

DUI penalties

A DUIcan be an embarrassment and inconvenience to people in a variety of professions. In addition to the potential fines, license suspension and jail time, there is a stigma attached to a DUI conviction. The New Jersey Assembly also recently advanced a bill that would require anyone convicted of a DUI to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle, a device that requires the driver to blow into an alcohol breath-test device before the vehicle will start. Current state law already requires an IID for drivers convicted of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 and above and for repeat offenders.

Because the consequences of a DUI are severe, it is important that everyone faced with DUI charges defend their rights in court. Police must have probable cause to pull a driver over and make an arrest, for example, and if police fail to follow constitutional requirements evidence obtained from a traffic stop may be inadmissible in court. Plea agreements and negotiations with prosecutors can also minimize damages stemming from a DUI conviction.

People in New Jersey charged with a DUI should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss their situation and legal options.

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