As a New Jersey drunken driving defense attorney and former municipal prosecutor, I have met dozens of police and public safety officers throughout my career as a litigator. In my capacity as both defense lawyer and prosecuting attorney, I know very well the efforts put forth by representatives of our state and local police agencies. I also have a great respect for those individuals who on a daily basis put their lives one the line for the rest of society.
And, while I believe I understand the stresses experienced by many in the law enforcement community, I find it difficult to reconcile those instances when a patrolman steps over the line and breaks the laws that he himself has sworn to uphold. A recent new story about a Garden State police trooper brought this to mind recently, if only to point out that even policemen and other officers of the court should be held accountable for DWI violations, just as any other citizen is required to do.
Most people would probably agree that there is never a good excuse for anyone in law enforcement to knowingly drive drunk. Whether by the use of alcohol or doctor-prescribed medication, an officer of the court should be held to at least the standard that other residents must adhere. As DWI defense lawyers, we have very little tolerance for those of authority who fail to observe the laws that they have been entrusted to enforce. In regard to the news article in question, according to reports a NJ State Police trooper assigned to Capitol security was suspended not long ago following a drunken driving arrest in the state of Missouri.