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DWI charges against New Jersey politician dismissed

On Dec. 11, a New Jersey court dismissed drunk driving charges that were filed against a municipal politician in relation to a traffic stop that occurred on Nov. 9. The accused man, the long-time mayor of Lambertville, pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless driving in Mansfield Municipal Court on Dec. 11.

Officers from Mansfield Police Department accused the man of driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and failure to maintain lane when they stopped him on Route 130 in Mansfield shortly after 1 a.m. Police reports indicated the man failed field sobriety tests, although two separate breath alcohol tests at the police department showed that no alcohol remained in his body. The reports also noted that the man was polite and cooperated with officers as they processed the charges.

The man, 58, said that although he had been drinking on the night of the traffic stop, he had only had a few drinks over a number of hours. He later admitted in court that he swerved out of the lane he was driving in on Route 130 before the traffic stop. His defense attorney said that the mayor chose to accept the plea deal to the lesser charge of reckless driving in order to resolve the matter quickly. He paid $238 in fines and court costs before leaving court that day.

Field sobriety tests are often inadmissible in court because people may fail them even when they have no alcohol in their system. People with mobility problems, trouble balancing or certain medical conditions may perform poorly on a sobriety test. Drivers accused of driving drunk may have trouble challenging DWIcharges on their own even if breath alcohol tests indicate a negligible blood alcohol content. DWI defense attorneys may be able to help drivers fight charges in court or negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors.

Source: NJ.com, "Lambertville Mayor David DelVecchio has DWI charge dismissed, admists reckless driving", Keith Brown, December 11, 2014

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