On the night of Jan. 13, a New Jersey high school teacher was charged with drunk driving in Lodi. According to authorities, the female suspect stopped her vehicle on the 200 block of Church Street and proceeded to get into a verbal altercation with a resident standing nearby.
Responding police officers gave the suspect, a 40-year-old Lodi resident, several field sobriety tests, which she allegedly failed. A representative of the Lodi Police Department said she was also found to have a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit, though the specifics were not provided. She was arrested and later released with a summons.
According to local media, the suspect is a special education teacher at Lodi High School. The school's superintendent declined to comment on the case. She is not the first Lodi High School teacher to face DWI charges in recent years. In 2014, a math teacher was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after severely injuring a New Jersey police officer on Route 46 in Lodi. The school suspended him without pay.
New Jersey residents charged with drunk driving could face harsh penalties, including heavy fines, license suspension and significant jail time, even if it is a first-time offense. However, every defendant has the right to fight DWI allegations in court. In some cases, an attorney may want to challenge the accuracy of any field sobriety or blood alcohol content level tests a defendant was subjected to. If the evidence is strong, however, the preferred strategy may be to negotiate an arrangement with the prosecution that would involve a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced penalty.
Source: North Jersey, "Lodi High School teacher charged with DWI," Stefanie Dazio, Jan. 29, 2016