A 40-year-old man from Shiloh Borough was arrested by police on a Sunday evening along Cottage Avenue at Giles Street on the charge of driving while intoxicated. According to news reports, Michael A. Barbera was stopped by police after he allegedly nearly hit a police patrol car in the Bridgeton Villas parking lot. Apparently the driver was backing up and didn’t notice the police car directly behind him.
As a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer, I know that this kind of incident happens all of the time. It doesn’t always result in an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol, but the potential is there. In this case, it would seem that the officers had sufficient suspicion that the driver was drunk to pull him over.
In such as case, the motorist would be asked to perform a variety of field sobriety tests (as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the NHTSA). If the individual fails these tests then the officer will usually ask the person to submit to a breath test to determine the driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC). Anything over 0.08 percent and by law that person is legally drunk and can be charged with DWI.
This was apparently the case, and according to the report, the officers also cited the man for reckless driving, careless driving, failing to wear a seat belt and improper backing, and was released on his own recognizance.
In another incident, police arrested a Millville man on a Friday night for DWI as well. According to police reports, Jeffrey W. Stowers was apparently observed driving erratically as he turned off Route 49 onto Buckshutem Road. Police pulled him over shortly thereafter.
After failing a number of field sobriety tests, police had the man take a breath test to determine his level of intoxication. Police reported that his blood-alcohol content was 0.07 percent, which is below the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent. However, police still charged Stowers with DWI due to the fact that he failed the series of sobriety tests. He was subsequently released on his own recognizance.
Bridgeton police blotter includes robbery, burglary of church, NJ.com, October 05, 2009