A member of a local school board in Essex County has been found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to local sources. New Jersey authorities had previously arrested the woman for suspicion of DUI, though she claims she was having a panic attack at the time. She has been ordered to pay some $1,000 in fines and will have an ignition interlock device placed in her vehicle.
What allegedly happened to result in the arrest?
According to the report filed in Belleville, the 42-year-old woman was found around 1 a.m. on Oct. 21, apparently unconscious, in her vehicle outside a bar within 1,000 feet of the local school. Police said when officers woke her up, they detected the smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle and noted the woman’s allegedly disheveled appearance. Bodycam video from the incident shows the suspected woman verbally assaulting police while being handcuffed.
The woman claims she had just received upsetting family news and was in the midst of a panic attack before officers found her. She claimed the alcohol scent they detected was the result of hand sanitizer she had used while putting up campaign signs. However, the evidence presented before the court introduced sufficient doubt that the judge ruled against her. It is unknown whether this will influence her standing on the school board.
The best possible criminal defense plan can be critical
Not every verdict reached by a New Jersey court is favorable to the accused person. In this case, the woman will have to pay out of pocket for fines and possibly court costs associated with her DUI conviction, as well as have her movement restricted by the installation of the ignition interlock. This is a compelling illustration of the importance of solid criminal defense representation in a courtroom setting. The support of a dedicated attorney can mean the difference between freedom and fines or even jail time.