A Raritan woman has been charged in a drunk driving incident after allegedly running into a police car in the early hours of July 4. At approximately 2:49 a.m., the woman allegedly sideswiped a patrol car that was parked on the side of West Sylvania Avenue. The patrol car’s lights were flashing at the time of the incident, according to the Neptune City public safety director.

According to police, the 24-year-old woman did not stop after she struck the police vehicle. The officer gave chase and ultimately pulled the woman over. He then allegedly determined that the woman was intoxicated. The woman was charged with DWI and has since been released pending a court date.

The woman in this case may wish to employ legal counsel as a DWI conviction can lead to significant legal consequences. Under New Jersey state law, penalties for DWI vary based on BAC and on whether the offender has any previous DWI convictions. Penalties may include jail time, fines, license suspension, mandatory DWI education courses and an automobile insurance surcharge. A DWI conviction can also lead to personal and professional consequences and may discourage potential employers from considering convicted individuals.

A criminal defense lawyer in a case like this one would likely examine any evidence presented by the prosecution, including any BAC tests performed by law enforcement. Field sobriety tests are notoriously subjective and may be inaccurate, especially when performed by injured or disabled persons. The accident that led the officer to pursue the defendant in this case could easily have resulted in an injury that might cause such a test to be inaccurate.

Source: The State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, “Driving While Intoxicated.”

Source: Asbury Park Press, “Police car hit during motor vehicle stop“, Margaret F. Bonafide, July 04, 2014