The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

New Jersey Legislator Paul Moriarty Denies DUI Charge

There’s nothing worse than being accused of something that you didn’t do. This was true for Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who was arrested in 1966 for a murder he didn’t commit and finally released in 1985, 10 years after Bob Dylan wrote a song about the case.

Now another New Jersey resident is facing charges that he claims are fabricated. Legislator Paul Moriarty, who represents parts of Gloucester and Camden Counties, was pulled over in Washington Township after he allegedly cut off a police officer, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

After being pulled over, Moriarty disputed having cut off the officer and the officer administered a field sobriety test, issuing him a summons for DUI, reports the Inquirer. Moriarty claims that he did not have any alcohol, could he still get a DUI?

A DUI conviction requires that the state prove that you were driving with more alcohol in your system than the legal limit. The blood-alcohol content or “BAC” is the percentage of alcohol that is in your blood stream at a given time. The legal limit in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is 0.08%.

What is not reported in this story is whether Moriarty was given a chemical test, or even arrested for that matter. The Inquirer story only reports that he was given a summons, which sounds like he was allowed to drive off.

Based on the news story, it seems like Moriarty couldn’t actually be convicted of DUI. Under New Jersey’s DWI statute, you must be under the influence of a drug or have a BAC of at least 0.08% and operating a motor vehicle to be guilty of driving while intoxicated.

While the officer may have had a suspicion that Moriarty was impaired, it will be difficult for the state to make a case that he was impaired without a chemical test.

We will have to wait and see whether New Jersey Legislator Paul Moriarty will face charges for DUI or whether they will be dropped.

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