DWI Arrest Follows Near-miss with New Jersey Police Officer

A  suspected drunk driver steered her speeding SUV within inches of a Branchburg Township police officer as he was conducting another traffic stop the evening of April 10. The obviously intoxicated driver of the SUV was later found to have 14-year-old minor riding with her, police said.

The incident occurred on Route 28 in the township’s North Branch section just before 8 p.m. The officer, Fred Ghanim, had just stopped a vehicle for speeding and was getting out of his cruiser to issue a non-DWI summons. Just as the officer stepped out his vehicle, but before he could close the driver door, a silver SUV swerved in Ghanim’s direction at a high rate of speed.

According to the report, Officer Ghanim pulled the door tight against his body, effectively sandwiching himself between the body of the police cruiser and the driver’s door as the SUV sped past.

It must be said, at this point, that far too many law enforcement professionals lose their lives in the line of duty, but the senseless deaths caused by drunken drivers are all the more sad, and preventable. Near-miss situations like this one illustrate the razor’s edge between life and death that public safety personnel face every day while patroling our nation’s roadways.

Fortunately, this incident ended with no serious injuries. Ghanim reported that the SUV missed his door by about an inch before the driver swerved back into her lane.

Soon after, police stopped the 38-year-old SUV driver, Betsy L. Nash of North Branch, who had the odor of alcohol on her breath. This prompted officers to ask her to perform a field sobriety test. She failed that test and was subsequently given a blood alcohol test, which turned up a reading of 0.13 percent — significantly over the legal limit in New Jersey.

Nash was charged with several counts, including careless driving, DWI, and driving while intoxicated with a minor on board. She was later released to a member of her family. Considering how close she came to injuring or even killing a law enforcement office, she was extremely fortunate.

If you are pulled over by police and found to have a BAC of 0.08 percent or more, you will be charged with DWI, if arrested. You could face a fine and jail time if convicted. Any driver issued a summons for DWI is encouraged to contact a New Jersey DWI Attorney. Our legal team is available around the clock to help you.

 

Branchburg Police Plotter, MyCentralJersey.com, April 14, 2009

If you are pulled over by police and found to have a BAC of 0.08 percent or more, you will be charged with DWI, if arrested. You could face a fine and jail time if convicted. Any driver issued a summons for DWI is encouraged to contact a New Jersey DWI Attorney. Our legal team is available around the clock to help you.