Ocean County DWI Checkpoint Program is in Full Force
With the added traffic volume that comes with the summer tourism, the Ocean County Prosecutor, Joseph Coronato, has put the DWI checkpoint program into full force. As you might image, the program involves positioning of roadblocks at designated locations in the county, typically in the late evening, with the intention of apprehending those who are operating their vehicles while under the influence. The program also includes provisions for funding to provide supplemental DWI patrols throughout Ocean County. These measures will be particularly visible during the upcoming months as there is historically a spike in DWI violations that comes with the increased summer shore traffic.
The law in New Jersey imposes certain requirements in order for a DWI roadblock to be valid. One requirement is that the designated location for the checkpoint demonstrate a history of driving while intoxicated infractions. In others words, the location must have a greater probability of apprehending those violating N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 than some random roadway. This requirement is intended to counterbalance, at least in theory, the fact that individuals subjected to a DWI roadblock have done nothing to draw attention to their vehicles other than happening to drive down the selected roadway (i.e. there is no independent probable cause as required by law). Accordingly, you can expect the roadways selected by the Ocean County DWI Task Force and local police to include major highways like Route 37 in Toms River, Route 35 in Seaside Heights, State Highway 9 in Manchester, and Route 70 in Brick Township.
In addition to proper selection of the location for a DWI checkpoint, police must utilize a neutral formula for selecting vehicles to be “stopped at the checkpoint.” The typical scenario in this regard is a predetermined sequence for selection of those drivers to pull into the area for random questioning, for example, the sixth car. This requirement is intended to eliminate the possibility of subjective targeting of motorists by a particular officer(s).
If you were arrested for driving under the influence as a result of a stop at a roadblock, you are encouraged to contact our DWI attorneys for a free consultation. The members of our staff include former prosecutors in more than 20 Ocean County Municipal Courts.