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New Jersey man charged with DWI after accident

Police in New Jersey have reported that a 43-year-old man was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence after crashing his vehicle on the evening of March 1. Police responded to the scene on Mountain Avenue in Hackettstown at approximately 7:49 p.m. The Independence Township resident was released after being charged with reckless driving, careless driving and driving while intoxicated.

When they arrived at the accident scene, police officers found the man digging his vehicle out of a snowy lawn with an another individual. He is said to have told officers that he had crashed after attempting to turn into the parking lot of a former fast food restaurant so that a tailgating motorist could pass. However, he says that he inadvertently drove over a curb and over a snow bank. The man was charged with drunk driving after a subsequent breath test reportedly revealed that his blood alcohol level was .21 percent, more than twice the legal limit in New Jersey.

Police say that they became suspicious when they detected the odor of alcohol on the man's breath. They claim that he was taken back to the Hackettstown Police headquarters for testing after performing poorly in a series of field sobriety exercises.

The penalties for drunk driving can be severe in New Jersey, but prosecutors must first prove their case beyond any reasonable doubt. These cases often hinge on the results of toxicology tests, which may be challenged by a criminal defense attorney in certain situations. Even seemingly compelling evidence, such as breath test results, may be unreliable if the sophisticated equipment used has not been adequately maintained or accurately calibrated. An attorney may also seek to have DWI charges reduced by bringing mitigating factors to the attention of prosecutors during plea discussions.

Source: NJ.com, "Crash at former White Castle leads to DWI charge in Hackettstown," Emily Cummins, March 2, 2015

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