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New Jersey politician who pushed DUI bills charged with DUI

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.

Source: Philly.com, "Glouco assemblyman 'didn't realize the consequences' of refusing breath test," Aug. 3, 2012

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