On Sept. 9, a man in New Jersey was charged for drunk driving after a five-car accident. The crash occurred at 6:11 p.m. while the 34-year-old Oakland man was traveling along Route 23 in Riverdale. One of the other drivers involved in the accident was taken to the hospital after complaining of dizziness, but no other injuries were reported.

The alleged DUI incident began when the accused driver struck the back of a car that was stopped at a red light. The second driver then hit a third car, which in turn hit a fourth car. A fifth vehicle was hit from behind when the accused man’s car continued to travel south after the initial collision.

Witnesses at the accident scene say that the accused man got out of his car after the crash and hid a bottle behind a building. Police later discovered a bottle of Southern Comfort behind the building and reported that they smelled alcohol on the accused driver’s breath. The man was taken to police headquarters where he refused to take a breath test. He was charged for refusing a breath test, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, improper lane change, leaving the scene of an accident and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.

Refusing a breath test usually results in an automatic license suspension, but it does not necessarily result in a person being convicted for drunk driving. A lawyer may be able to help a person who refused a breath test to dispute charges related to drunk driving. A lawyer may argue that the defendant refused the breath test for personal reasons and that police officers did not have probable cause to suspect drunk driving.

Source: NJ.com, “Drunk driver who caused 5-car crash had open liquor bottle, cops say,” Laura Herzog, Sept. 11, 2015