On Nov. 12, a New Jersey man was charged for DUI after getting into a single-car accident in Hopatcong. At approximately 11:56 p.m., police officers responded to the scene on Lakeside Avenue after receiving a report about a car that had driven down a 40-foot embankment. When they arrived, police officers allegedly found the vehicle to contain several open alcohol containers including beer cans and a vodka bottle.

The 42-year-old driver of the vehicle reportedly told police officers that he was uninjured in the crash, and he refused to receive medical treatment. Believing he was under the influence of alcohol, police charged the man for drunk driving and released him on his own recognizance. The car involved in the accident could not be driven out of the embankment, and a flatbed truck had to be used to drag it out.

Although there were no reports about what type of sobriety test was administered in this case, drivers who are suspected of drunk driving are often given a field sobriety test at the scene. When carefully examined by a criminal defense attorney, field sobriety tests are sometimes found to be inconsequential due to the shock from a wreck or an injury the driver may have sustained.

If police ask an accused drunk driver to provide a breath or a blood sample, the results from toxicology tests can also be disputed at trial. For instance, test results that fall within an established margin of error may not hold much weight. A criminal defense attorney might also be able to argue for a plea bargain if the prosecution’s evidence of fault is compelling.

Source: NJ.com, “Vehicle dragged out of 40-foot embankment after DWI crash in Hopatcong“, Emily Cummins, November 20, 2014