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Young New Jersey woman faces realities of underage DWI charge

A 20-year-old New Jersey woman was arrested for DWI after the car she had been driving crashed at an embankment. After police determined that no one was seriously hurt in the collision, she was taken to the precinct for questioning. She has since been charged with DWI, underage DWI, reckless driving and failure to keep right in her lane of traffic.

Police report that they were alerted to an accident on a road that contained a hairpin curve. According to the police, a woman, who claimed to be 20 year old, acknowledged she consumed alcohol when they arrived on the scene. She was given field sobriety tests, which she reportedly failed.

Shortly thereafter, the woman was brought to police quarters where she was given another alcohol test. It is unclear from reports whether she failed that test as well, and the specific field sobriety tests administered were not detailed in a news report. It is unclear why police have not provides the woman's recorded blood-alcohol level.

In a number of cases, the accuracy and validity of blood-alcohol tests have faced very serious questions. For example, Breathalyzer tests have been critiqued for providing inaccurate results on occasion. If the tests are deemed to be unreliable, then the evidence from the tests could be thrown out of court, which would likely have a major impact on the strength of the prosecution's case.

A DWI is a very serious charge, especially for someone who is underage. If a conviction is ultimately obtained, the consequences of a DWI in New Jersey may include license suspicion, in addition to potential jail time and fines. Furthermore, it can cause insurance premiums to skyrocket. For anyone, especially such a young individual, these potential effects can be crippling. As she prepares for her defense in court, the 20-year-old woman will do well to have the evidence carefully scrutinized to determine the best way to move forward.

Source: Hopatcong, NJ Patch, "Underage Drunk Woman Crashed Car, Police Say," Aug. 27, 2012

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