DWI News: Bus Driver Arrested on New Jersey Turnpike; Fails Sobriety Test, Charged with Drunken Driving

Speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, or running a stop sign are all ways that can get a driver killed, much less noticed by the police. While this kind of behavior can be interpreted in several different ways, law enforcement agencies tend to associate it with intoxication. In some cases they are right to do so. This is why a state trooper or local municipal patrolman will watch a potential drunken driving suspect for slurred speech, poor eye-hand coordination and other tell-tale signs of inebriation.

Here in Monmouth County, as in other areas across the Garden State, drunk driving is frowned upon by police and the courts. As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, I and my colleagues are contacted frequently by people accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription medication, and even controlled and dangerous substances (CDS) like cocaine and marijuana.

One thing all of us assume is that owners and operators of public and private transportation make certain that there drivers adhere to corporate rules and state and federal laws. Any commercial driver who is convicted of driving while intoxicated is likely to lose his or her job as a result, which would be a serious and life-changing event for someone in that field.

According to a recent news item, a driver for the Bolt Bus line that serves cities along the East Coast was arrested by police for driving under the influence (DUI) along a portion of the Garden State Parkway. Based on police reports, a passenger onboard a Bolt Bus traveling from New York to Washington, D.C., made a 911 call to report suspicion that the driver was inebriated.

The call came in just before 3pm on a Friday afternoon, sending state troopers out to pull the bus over along a southbound stretch of the turnpike. According to reports, the trooper in charge observed the bus going about 80mph, in excess of the posted speed, following dangerously close to other vehicles and illegally traveling in the left lane. Along with improperly lanes changes, these observations apparently gave the patrolman enough reason to stop the bus.

As a result, 46-year-old Elia Rodriguez was arrested after he was unable to successfully pass standardized field sobriety tests. To make things worse for the suspect, the trooper allegedly found an open container of alcohol in the driver’s area of the bus. Following a breathalyzer test, authorities stated that Rodriguez’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) was “well over” the legal measurement of 0.08 percent. Police charged the man with DWI, reckless driving and other traffic offenses.

Bolt Bus driver arrested on N.J. Turnpike for DWI, speeding, PoconoRecord.com, March 14, 2011