A New Jersey drunk driving case starts even before the policeman activates his lights, and you pull over to the side of the road. As in any other criminal or quasi-criminal matter, the cop has to have probable cause to stop you. Like proving you were the driver, this might seem rather obvious and easy, but cases have been won by defendants on this basis.

The probable cause is most often another traffic violation, such as speeding or running a red light. They pull you over for that and discover that you are intoxicated. In some cases, the cause is under New Jersey's "community caretaking" exception, where the police officer was concerned for someone's welfare and stopped to investigate.

An Alcotest Breathalyzer reading can get thrown out if there is no probable cause to stop you, so this issue is very important.

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