For most New Jersey residents, the holiday season means attending parties and spending time with family and friends. These events usually involve alcohol, which means more New Jersey cops are on the lookout for drunk drivers.
Recently, the New Jersey Attorney General stated that more than $600,000 in funds were given to police departments to place more officers at sobriety checkpoints and on saturation patrols during this holiday season.
Saturation patrols occur when a higher number of officers are sent to patrol areas where drunk drivers are more likely to be found.
Obey all traffic laws to reduce your chance of being pulled over
This means that your chance of being pulled over on suspicion of DUI increases. Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over.
Even if you only had one or two drinks, or are completely sober, you can be stopped by the police if they see you speeding or weaving through traffic, leading them to believe you are intoxicated.
What to do if you are stopped
Do not fight the reason for the stop. There might be no legitimate reason for them to pull you over, but the time to fight that is later.
Arguing about the stop itself can lead to separate or additional charges. Pull over, turn your vehicle off and place your hands on the steering wheel.
The most important things to remember if you are stopped for DUI is you do not have to answer any questions or submit to any field sobriety tests.
Say nothing but your name
The officers will probably ask for your name, driver’s license and registration. You can state your name but say nothing else.
Have the other documents ready and provide them to the officers. Never admit to having alcohol, even “just one.”
It is natural to get nervous during a stop and many people start talking to reduce the anxiety or show the officers that they were not doing anything wrong. This can work against you.
The officers cannot hold you there without a reason. If they are not going to charge you with a crime, ask if you are free to leave.
Help with your criminal defense
You have rights during encounters with police. If you feel your rights were violated or are arrested for a DUI over this holiday season, it is best to speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately.