Archive for the ‘DWI’ Category

DWI – without getting behind the wheel?

By admin

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Sometime when talking to our friends and family we can often be told that’s “TMI,” or Too Much Information” when being told something that the person didn’t particularly want to know.  However, in some instances we can never have ‘Too Much Information!”
I received a telephone call from a potential client who had gotten into trouble for being a good Samaritan.  She received a late night telephone call from a friend of hers who was charged with Driving While Intoxicated in Hamilton Township, Mercer County.  The good Samaritan had driven from her residence in Hillsborough, NJ to Hamilton Township to pick up her friend from the Hamilton Police Department. 

Before she was allowed to take her friend home she had to sign a document that was placed before her by the police officer.    Unfortunately, she didn’t really read the document.  What she signed was a document known John’s Law, which is a liability warning acknowledging that he/she is picking up someone who has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

It was almost 2:00 am by the time they returned to Hillsborough.  During the ride home the good Samaritan’s car began making a funny noise.   It was late and the good Samaritan had to get up for work that morning.  Her friend offered to take her car for a ride around her apartment complex to see if she could figure out what was wrong with the car while the good Samaritan went to bed.

At 4:00 am that same morning, the good Samaritan is awaken by the telephone.  The Princeton Township Police Department is calling her.  It seems that her friend took her car for more than a spin around the apartment complex.  In fact, she crashed her car into a tree and is now in the hospital where she has been admitted for her injuries.

The good Samaritan rushes to the hospital to check on her friend.  While there she talks to the police about the accident.  She later received a summons in the mail from the police department.

N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 (a) (Driving While Intoxicated) provides in part “ ….a person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more ….OR PERMITS ANOTHER PERSNON WHO IS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR, NARCOTIC, HALLUCINOGENIC INFLUENCE OR HABIT-PRODUCING DRUG TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY HIM OR IN HIS CUSTODY OR CONTROL OR PERMITS ANOTHER TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE WITH A BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION OF 0.08% OR MORE….IN THE DEFENDANT’S BLOOD SHALL BE SUBJECT TO”

In other words, the good Samaritan is now being charged with permitting someone who she knew was intoxicated with driving her vehicle.  Under the statute the good Samaritan faces the same loss of her driver’s license, fines and surcharges as if she was actually driving the vehicle herself.  These are serious charges and she will now have to defend those charges in municipal court.