On Dec. 20, a New Jersey mayor was accused of driving drunk in Woolwich Township. The incident took place around midnight, and it involved the mayor of Paulsboro. Although the case was originally going to be heard by Woolwich Township’s municipal judge, the judge has removed himself because he is also the municipal judge for Paulsboro.

An anonymous 911 call triggered the traffic stop that led to the mayor’s drunk driving charges. According to Woolwich Town Police, the caller reported that a car on the road was being driven erratically. When the mayor’s vehicle was pulled over, he was given a field sobriety test and several attempts at a breath test. According to police, the mayor did not follow instructions while they were trying to get a breath sample from him.

Hamilton was ultimately charged for reckless driving, failure to maintain a lane, driving while intoxicated, and refusal to submit to a breath test. Since the charges were filed, the mayor has not offered any public statements about the case other than a statement that the investigation is ongoing. The case was moved to Carneys Point municipal court, and a court date was scheduled for Feb. 11.

A person convicted of drunk driving in New Jersey could face serious penalties like a long period of incarceration or license suspension. Moreover, an individual who holds public office or another high-ranking occupation could face serious sanctions as well. Seeking the counsel of a legal professional during this time may be of benefit to a defendant. If a 911 call triggered the police response, an attorney may argue that the defendant’s vehicle was misidentified.

Source: NJ.com, “Paulsboro mayor Jeff Hamilton arrested for DWI in Woolwich”, Rebecca Forand, Jan. 8, 2015