A New Jersey man is facing drunk driving charges after he allegedly fled a fight in a Chatham tavern. In addition to the DWI charge, he is facing several other charges since he was supposedly uncooperative with the police. He has since been released and is awaiting his court date.

The incident started when police were called to the bar in Chatham based on a report that three patrons were fighting. When police arrived, they say they spotted one of the patrons leaving the scene in a pickup truck who they believed was involved in the fight, though it is not explained how they reached that conclusion. Police stopped the man, and claim he appeared intoxicated and was uncooperative with them.

Shortly after being pulled over, the man was arrested and charged for driving under the influence of alcohol, obstruction of justice, reckless driving, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, driving while his license was suspended and failure to exhibit documents.

As the man prepares for court, he will no doubt be interested in whether the police stop and subsequent arrest were legally performed. Police typically must have reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle, and if the police saw that his vehicle was leaving from the parking lot without knowing having a legitimate reason to believe he was in a fight, the traffic stop may not have been warranted. This, in turn, may help the man as he approaches his court date to defend against the accusations leveled against him.

A DWI charge is a very serious charge that can significantly affect the person accused, even if a conviction is not ultimately obtained. However, there are many options available to New Jersey residents who are facing these types of charges. While it appears this individual has a difficult battle in front of him, it may be in his best interest to slow down and carefully examine the allegations against him as it relates to the verifiable facts and circumstances behind the case. In that manner, he can work to ensure his legal rights are protected while fighting for a just and fair result to his trial.

Source: The Independent Press, “Kenilworth man charged with DWI, other offenses after police get report of fight at Chatham tavern,” June 1, 2012