Pompton Plains, NJ asked in Car Accidents and DUI / DWI for New Jersey

Q: Do the police have to bring an intoxicated, clearly injured, person to the hospital following a car accident?

My friend got into a bad car accident while intoxicated. She had a burned, bloody face and expressed her arm was in pain (hospital confirmed it was broken the following day). Upon arrival the police asked if she wanted to go to the ER, but due to being drunk and in shock she declined. They proceeded with a sobriety test then arrested her, after which she remained in cuffs for hours, increasing the pain in her arm, which she also expressed while being detained. She was not allowed to call her husband the entire time (12:30-4:30am) and she took the breathalyzer in the holding cell (failed it). Even though she declined the one offer to be taken to ER, should the police have taken her anyway as a precautionary measure seeing she was intoxicated and clearly injured? Also, don't you get one phone call besides the call for a ride home? This is her first offence ever as well, so will she definitely lose her license? Thank you

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1 Lawyer Answer
James A. Abate
James A. Abate
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Somerville, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Due to injuries her field tests may have been compromised. She denied injuries and opportunity to go to hospital. So SFST argument is hard to hold against cops since they did not know. However with a medical expert the accident can be a factor for concussion mobility and other reasons. In many cases the breath test can be suppressed. In some cases police will send to hospital. If they did not know of a situation then they would not. Depending on her record and the reading it may be possible. You get a phone call when its time to be released.

She needs to hire a lawyer that focuses on DWI matters. Depending on the totality of the case and her record, it is possible to keep her license and possibly dismiss the DWI charges. Clock is ticking as we would want video especially if she took the breath test in the cell which presents a number of issues.

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