South of us in Bergen County, a New Jersey politician who has pushed several
bills focused on drunk driving was himself last week arrested and accused
of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Gloucester County assemblyman declined to take a breath test and said
he "didn't realize the consequences of not taking the breathalyzer."
According to reports, he has in the past advocated a bill that specifically
dealt with the consequences of refusing to take the breathalyzer test.
The assemblyman apparently passed the field sobriety test administered
by a police officer in Turnersville, about 100 miles southwest of Bergen County.
But he then declined to submit to the breath test because, he said, he
believed he "was being railroaded" and had at that point been
denied access to an attorney.
He was charged with DUI/DWI, refusing to take a breathalyzer and failure
to maintain his lane while driving.
The former mayor of Washington Township and former TV reporter says he
was not drunk and had not had any alcohol to drink that night.
He said he's considering filing an "abuse of power" complaint
with Washington Township police over the actions of the arresting officer.
The department said if such a complaint is filed, it will be investigated
fully, as required.
The legislator voted in favor of a proposal two years ago that would forbid
motorists from mounting a DUI defense based on a failure by the arresting
officer to warn them of the consequences of a breathalyzer test refusal.
In 2009, he sponsored a bill requiring blood samples or breath samples
from motorists involved in car accidents resulting in death or serious injury.
He reintroduced that bill in 2010 and again early this year.
Our law firm represents people charged with DWI/DUI. For more information,
please visit our
Bergen County DUI defense page.
"Glouco assemblyman 'didn't realize the consequences'
of refusing breath test," Aug. 3, 2012