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Update: Assemblyman's fight against New Jersey DUI continues

In a previous DUI defense post, we shared how a former mayor of Washington Township, New Jersey, was charged with drunk driving. Immediately, the suspect challenged the system's investigation of him, refusing to submit to a breath test during his traffic stop.

That refusal resulted in another criminal charge, since New Jersey drivers are required to take breathalyzer tests when requested. But Assemblyman Paul Moriarty had reason to be suspicious of his arrest. He knew that he didn't give an officer a reason to pull him over. Now that officer who Moriarty accuses of wrongdoing is suspended from his work.

Moriarty argues that there wasn't probable cause for him to be pulled over and then investigated for drunk driving. The officer who pulled him over claimed that the traffic stop was the result of Moriarty cutting him off on the road. A video from the squad car, however, reportedly defies that story.

The officer who pulled Moriarty over faces charges of official misconduct, filing false reports and harassment. For now, he is just temporarily suspended with pay. If Moriarty has his way, the officer will be taught a more serious lesson.

When someone is charged with DUI, it is important for him to think back to the traffic stop. Why did the officer pull him over? If no traffic violation was made or there was otherwise no justifiable cause for a traffic stop, a drunk driving charge shouldn't stick. Any experienced DUI defense attorney should evaluate the traffic stop and determine if it was legal.

Source: Courier-Post, "Washington Township suspends police officer who ticketed Moriarty," Phil Dunn, Nov. 20, 2012