Hunterdon County’s New Central Booking Program for Those Arrested on Suspicion of Drunk Driving

empty beer bottle and car key behind bars

Here at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, we make it our job to pay attention to all new developments in New Jersey drunk driving news. One of those changes set to occur in the near future could drastically affect anyone arrested in Hunterdon County on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances.

Beginning next month, those arrested in Hunterdon County for driving while intoxicated will automatically be taken to the Hunterdon County Justice Center. This means that if you are arrested for DUI or DWI in New Jersey, the process may soon change depending on where you live. The days of going to the local police department nearby, it seems, could be a thing of the past.

The New Program

Developed by the Hunterdon Sheriff Fred Brown and the county’s Police Chiefs Association with guidance from Hunterdon Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III, the Hunterdon County will soon be pioneering a new type of program, creating a central booking system for all drunk driving arrestees at the county Justice Center. The county indicated on February 6th that the program and location should be up and running in about a month.

This new booking program is simultaneously aimed at getting drunk drivers off the road and putting more cops on the streets. Essentially, the program allows local officers around the county to transport suspected drunk drivers to the central location for testing, rather than to each municipality’s local police department.

More Officers Patrolling the Roads

Importantly, the program sets up corrections officers that will be available to secure those who have been identified as drunk until someone picks them up at the county Justice Center. New Jersey’s John’s Law currently mandates that police impound a drunk driver’s car for 12 hours, meaning someone else needs to pick up the drunk driver from the station. Notably, John’s law also establishes potential criminal liability for anyone who picks up an arrested drunk driver, and then allows them to drive again while still intoxicated. With these corrections officers on duty, the local police officers who make the arrest will be able to quickly resume their patrols, rather than staying with the arrestee, meaning it may become more difficult for anyone on New Jersey’s roads to get away with drunk driving.

Only Two Alcotest Machines for the Whole County

Alcotest machines are the breath test machines New Jersey uses to measure the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in someone’s blood. According to the county, two new Alcotest machines will be placed at central booking. The dedicated machines and central booking will be available to all Hunterdon police departments and State Police. They may use central booking as their primary test machine, or as a backup should their machine be made unavailable.

What This May Mean for Those Arrested on Suspicion of Drunk Driving

The new program will likely eliminate the need for the county to purchase new, updated versions of Alcotest machines for each town or city, when the technology is upgraded. This is expected to occur in the near future, as the New Jersey State Government has directed that the current Drager Alcotest 7110 machines be replaced by local Police Departments some time before 2019. This update is an important change that will take place in the near future, and it is something we have been following closely here on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog.

Moreover, New Jersey has strict laws and guidelines regarding Alcotest machines and the processing of those suspected of drunk driving, whether it is at a local police station or a central booking location. This new program will make it easier for the state to maintain its systems and keep all machines calibrated and in working order. For anyone suspected of drinking and driving, this means it will become even more difficult to defend against those charges or have those charges dismissed.

For these reasons, we always say it is important to consult an experienced DUI/DWI attorney to understand the rights and the options available to you, as soon as you or someone you know is charged with driving under the influence.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Defend You if You Are Charged with Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated

If you or someone you know is charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, it is extremely important to contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney who can explain your rights to you and vigorously defend you. If you go to court, an experienced lawyer can also make sure you get the best result possible and can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.