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HomenewsDWI in New Jersey for Failing to Drive

DWI in New Jersey for Failing to Drive

Avoid drunk driving, but this scenario looks odd. Who knew waiting in your car for a ride home was DUI?

New Jersey’s DUI regulations are unforgiving, as a recent appellate decision showed. Wayne’s Maggie’s Tavern had Anthony Damico waiting for a ride home.

On a cold October night in 2019, his transport arrived late. He stayed warm in his automobile outside the pub.

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Damico was found snoozing in his Ford pickup around 1:30 am. He parked along Hamburg Turnpike.

On November 30, Anthony Damico was charged with DWI. Damico told officers he wasn’t driving but denied drinking at the bar. He also omitted his probation.

Damico’s reliability was questioned when he didn’t report his drinking to the police for fear of probation violations.

Damico had his brother pick him up an hour before the bar closed at midnight. His brother arrived late after bringing several others to the pub. Police arrived before his brother arrived at the bar at 2:00 am.

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The municipal court delayed the first hearing until 2021. Damico’s brother said in court that he received a call from his brother wanting to be picked up, but he was picking up other people.

Damico was sentenced to six months in prison, fines, 12 hours at an inebriated driving program, an ignition interlock device, and eight years without a license.

The Superior Court judge and appeals court judge upheld the sentencing because the case was being tried again.
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Although no one saw the defendant drive, the pickup’s condition and the defendant’s failure to tell authorities he was waiting for a ride suggested a motion. “Operates” means more than driving. The record shows that the defendant intended to drive.

Late at night, police found the defendant driving his pickup. The truck’s brake and turn signals were on. When he entered the truck, the officer spotted the defendant’s foot on the brake. NJ Superior Court Appellate Division


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