State v. R.V. resolution date 03/09/2017
N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 (1st offense DWI reported BAC .18) NOT GUILTY; N.J.S.A. 39:4-56 (Delaying Traffic) GUILTY.
On December 3, 2016 at approximately 4:44 p.m. a New Jersey police officer was dispatched to the area of the New Jersey State Parkway exit ramp in response to a call that indicated that a man was slumped over the wheel of his vehicle blocking entrance into the parkway off-ramp. Upon arrival the officer observed the individual slumped over in his Ram pickup truck at which time the officer sounded his siren in an attempt to wake up the defendant. The officer approached the passenger side of defendant’s vehicle and requested that the defendant roll down his window. At that point the officer spoke to the defendant, but more importantly, smelled the odor of alcohol emanating from the defendant’s person. The officer began to inquire as to the defendant’s sobriety and on how much he had to drink prior to operating his vehicle. The defendant admitted to having a drink but denied consuming any additional alcohol. At that point the officer requested, based on the scent of alcohol and the defendant’s admission, that the defendant step out of the vehicle to carry out several field sobriety tests. According to the investigating officer, the defendant was unable to successfully carry out the three requested field sobriety tests, which were walk and turn test, one leg stand test, and heel to toe test. At that point the defendant was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in violation of New Jersey’s DWI laws. At the station the defendant was submitted to breath testing which resulted in a BAC level of .18 %. After approximately three moths of litigation, it was found that the defendant was not guilty of driving while intoxicated, but was found guilty of delaying traffic by preventing vehicles from driving onto the parkway exit ramp. The court found that the defendant should not have driven in such a state that the defendant was obviously extremely tired and suffering from a head cold. As such, the court ordered a thirty day loss of the defendant’s New Jersey driving privileges.