Police: DUI Charge for Man, 39, Who Thought He Was in New Jersey

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A 39-year-old driver, later charged with driving while under the influence, was found parked at a gas station last Tuesday, Dec. 20, with a front tire shredded and which had been rolling on its rim, police said.

Darien police described the matter with this account (including accusations not proven in court):

Police responded to a report of an intoxicated driver at 4:15 p.m. and went to the Noroton Citgo at 1927 Post Road. Police were told the car had entered the gas station at a high rate of speed from Garden City Road, a side street, and that driver had tried to pay for gas using his car keys.

The driver, a Hillside, N.J. man, at first had difficulty lowering the front window. He told police he was headed home.

Police smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the car when they questioned the man, who also had very slurred speech and glazed-over eyes.

The man indicated he thought he was already in New Jersey, and when told he was in Connecticut told police officers to “stop messing with me.” When told he wasn’t going anywhere because of the condition of one of his front tires, he said he had bad tires on his car, a white Buick sedan, but the tire just looked bad and could still be used. Police told him the entire tire had come off the vehicle.

The man was directed to step out of the car. When he did, police smelled a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. He denied drinking any alcohol or taking any drugs or medications.

When given field sobriety tests, the man swayed back and forth and lost his balance at one point. A check of the vehicle revealed an empty 50 ml. bottle of gin under the driver’s seat.

The man was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol. At Darien Police Headquarters, he was given breath tests which showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.1795, well over twice the 0.08 maximum allowed level. The second test showed an even higher level — 0.1829.

The man was held on a $500 bond, which he did not post before being taken the next morning to state Superior Court in Stamford. According to the Connecticut Judicial Branch website, the man was later released on a $2,500 bond and is next due in court on Jan. 18.

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