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Strange DUI case alleged in New Jersey

Sometimes, media reports of an arrest read as if the pieces fit together a little too snugly. Maybe the incident happened the way it was described, and then again, maybe it did not. Police officers are like the rest of us. They have a job, most want to keep it, and some are willing to twist certain "facts" to fit the case they are working. Dover readers may be interested in a recent drunk driving arrest up in New Milford which seems to raise as many questions as it answers.

Just before 6 p.m. one Friday evening, police apparently received a report of a male running into his apartment after having struck a parked car in a Madison Avenue lot. Witnesses allegedly said the man seemed intoxicated and was seen "stumbling" away and going into his apartment. The officer approached the door of the identified apartment just as a couple was leaving. He asked the man if he was the one involved in the accident and the man answered yes.

The policeman said he smelled alcohol on the man's breath, though of course the man could have been drinking in the apartment. But the man again appears to have helped the officer by purportedly admitting he had been drinking, saying he had consumed three beers and a shot. The officer next observed the man "stumbling and swaying," a description not unlike what the witnesses said earlier. He unsuccessfully attempted to administer a field sobriety test, though the reason he could not administer the test was not really detailed.

The man was placed under arrest on suspicion of drunk driving, though the officer never saw him behind the wheel. At the station, the man was said to have refused to cooperate with a field sobriety test, though no explanation was provided as to what cooperation he was required to give. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

Whatever actually occurred, the man now has three separate charges pending against him. As with any individual stuck in a similar situation, the man would do well to consult a New Jersey attorney devoted to helping people charged with drunk driving offenses. The lawyer may work to ensure important legal rights are guarded and fight for an equitable resolution of all outstanding matters based on the facts as they actually occurred.

Source: The North Jersey, "Police charge New Milford man with DWI," Erin Patricia Griffiths, Sept. 29, 2011

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