According to mycentraljersey.com, on May 8, a Plainsboro Patrolman discovered two individuals, later identified as adult male coworkers, engaged in a heated argument in front of the Plainsboro Township municipal parking lot. Further investigation revealed that the men had traveled separately from a company gathering at Jose Tejas in Woodbridge. One gentleman drove a black 2015 Dodge Challenger and the other drove a blue 2001 Mercedes-Benz E320. Each of the individuals displayed signs of impairment due to intoxicating liquor and/or drugs, police said and the owner of the Mercedes was additionally found in possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were placed under arrest, processed and released later that night. The owner of the Challenger was issued motor vehicle summonses for DWI, reckless driving, DWI in a school zone, refusal to submit to a breath test in a school zone, refusal to submit to a breath test and improper parking. The Mercedes owner was issued summonses for possession of drug paraphernalia, DWI, DWI in a school zone and reckless driving.
While there are obviously a few lessons that can be garnered from this situation (such as refrain from fighting in the municipal parking lot after having consumed alcohol and driven), it is important that neither of these men simply accept a plea of guilty without legal representation. In cases where an individual or individuals are outside of their automobiles, it is important that the arresting police take the proper steps to ensure that the arrest or arrests that they conduct are lawful. In this case, the officer may approach a scene in which there seems to be an altercation or threat thereof, but must have reasonable suspicion that the individuals drove while intoxicated in order to conduct a Standardized Field Sobriety Test and ultimately conduct an arrest.
DWI and Refusal are serious offenses that are only magnified when they occur in a school zone. The charges for Refusal are substantially similar to those of a DUI and the Court may run penalties concurrently or staggered.
Click here for more information of DWI Penalties. Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is a criminal offense that may carry up to six months in jail, fines, and community service. First time offenders of drug paraphernalia charges, however, may be eligible for a Conditional Discharge.