Local police reported the detention of a 58-year-old Cranford man on June 14 on charges of DWI, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and unspecified motor vehicle summonses. An appearance in court was pending as of June 24.
Authorities stated that a silver 2005 Saturn was backing into the road incautiously on the 100 block of Center Street in Garwood, with the driver nearly colliding with an off-duty police officer. That officer followed the car to a residence in Cranford, and he had requested the aid of a patrol cruiser to pull over the car earlier in the pursuit. The man allegedly drove recklessly en route to the home.
The man was asked by an officer who responded to other’s call to take a field sobriety test according to police. He allegedly refused to cooperate after the authorities said he failed the test. He was subdued by the police after what was said to be a brief attempt to resist being taken into custody. The man did not agree to have his breath tested after reaching police headquarters.
In cases such as this one, an accused individual who is impolite, argumentative and even combative with authorities is only harming his or her chances of earning a reduced sentence or an acquittal. Keeping a courteous demeanor after being stopped by police on suspicion of drunk driving and knowing one’s rights could make a defense attorney’s work easier.
Exercising one’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination can provide valuable protection against prosecutorial efforts, as can politely declining to take a potentially biased field sobriety test that many sober individuals could fail. However, refusing a chemical test such as a blood draw or breath analysis in New Jersey comes with the immediate consequence of a mandatory license suspension of at least seven months or longer, with or without a conviction.
Source: NJ.com, “Cranford driver charged with DWI, resisting arrest in Garwood“, June 24, 2014