State v. J.C. (resolution date 3/19/2014)
Defendant was charged with N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 (DWI) N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2 (Refusal to Submit to Breath Test), N.J.S.A. 39:3-66 (failure to maintain lamp), N.J.S.A. 39:3-40 (driving on suspended), N.J.S.A 2c: 29-2A(1) (preventing an officer from effectuating a lawful arrest).
According to the police officers narrative of events, two officers where patrolling the city area in marked unit 15B when they observed a silver color SUV traveling west with NO headlights. The officer signaled the driver to turn on lights but the mail driver refused by giving the officer’s a profane gesture with his middle finger. In response, officers switched their emergency lights and attempted to pull defendant/motorist over to effectuate a motor vehicle stop. At which time, the defendant/motorist reluctantly pulled over. As the officers approached defendant/motorist’s vehicle, the defendant started screaming profanities towards officers and refused to exit vehicle. Officers attempted to remove defendant from vehicle when defendant became irate by kicking and screaming. Finally, defendant exited vehicle but was unable to stand and/or walk. Defendant fell to the ground. Officers smelt strong odor of alcohol emanating from defendant’s person. At station defendant refused to submit to breath test. In addition, Officers also learned that the defendant had three active bench warrants for his arrest. Defendant was charged with DWI, refusal to submit to breath testing, resisting arrest, failure to maintain lamps. The criminal charge of resisting arrest was downgraded to a municipal ordinance. The refusal to submit to the breathalyzer was dismissed consequently, the defendant did NOT have to lose his driver’s license for the 7 months. Defendant did plea guilty to a first tier DWI resulting in a 3 month driver’s license loss as a result thereof.