Eluding Arrest Compounds DWI Penalties
A New Jersey man was recently charged with eluding police in a vehicle and driving under the influence.
According to the police, the driver was apprehended after a high-speed chase followed by a foot chase. The police say the man tried to elude the officers after driving drunk and nearly struck several pedestrians, but the man has not yet had the opportunity to confront his accusers.
Now, the driver faces charges for both the DWI offense (his third DWI arrest) and his run from the officers.
Penalties for Eluding Arrest
The potential penalties for eluding an officer in the state of New Jersey are stiff. Under the New Jersey State Code, any individual who attempts to elude arrest in a motor vehicle after an officer has signaled the person to stop can be charged with a third degree crime. A conviction for a crime of the third degree carries a jail sentence of three to five years. Conviction for eluding an officer can also lead to loss of driving privileges for six months to two years.
Furthermore, when the driver places other citizens at risk while attempting to elude arrest, the driver can be charged with a second degree crime. An individual convicted of a second degree crime can face five to ten years in jail.
Penalties for Repeat DWI
Recent proposed legislation may stiffen the penalties for repeat DWI offenses by making the charge a fourth degree crime, rather than a traffic violation. A conviction could then result in 18 months in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.
Police do make mistakes and innocent parties can be accused of crimes they did not commit. Even if someone did commit a crime such as eluding arrest or DWI, they may be able to suppress some of the evidence against them or otherwise reduce their penalties.
Source: NorthJersey.com, “Man accused of DUI, endangering pedestrians in Bergen County,” Marlene Naanes, June 1, 2012