What Should Happen During a DWI Stop in New Jersey?
The first step in a DWI case is the initial stop by the police officer. In order to pull you over, the officer must have reasonable articulable suspicion to do so. An officer may legally pull you over for a:
- Moving violation
- Registration violation
- Equipment violation
How Long Can I Be Stopped?
Once you have been pulled over, the police officer can only detain you for as long as it takes to complete the purpose of the stop. For example, if you were stopped for speeding, the stop should take no longer than the time necessary to write your ticket.
Beginning a DWI Investigation
You may be detained longer if the officer finds evidence of other illegal activity having occurred, such as driving while intoxicated. In order to keep you and begin a DWI investigation, the officer must establish probable cause by observing evidence such as:
- The odor of alcohol
- Presence of open alcohol containers in the vehicle
- Slurred speech
- Watery or bloodshot eyes
The officer will then ask if you have been drinking. If you answer yes, it is likely that you will then be asked to step out of the vehicle and submit to field sobriety tests.
Regardless of your performance on the field sobriety tests, it is likely that you will be arrested and taken to the police station for a breath or blood test of your blood alcohol content.