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State v. Accardi

May 8, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
PATRICIA ACCARDI, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Municipal Appeal No. 93-07.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 1, 2009

Before Judges Lihotz and Messano.

Defendant, Patricia Accardi, appeals her conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI), N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, and refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4(a). Defendant was found guilty of these offenses in Atlantic City Municipal Court. She was acquitted of the additionally charged offense of reckless driving and a careless driving charge was merged. Defendant was sentenced as a second-time DWI offender, N.J.S.A. 4-50(a)(2), resulting in the suspension of her driving privileges for four years (two years for the DWI and two years for the refusal); the imposition of an Interlock Device for one year, commencing on the date her driving privileges are restored; thirty days of community service; a forty-eight hour period at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center; and an assessment of applicable fines and penalties. Defendant appealed.

The Law Division conducted a de novo review, Rule 3:23-8(a), and again convicted defendant of DWI and refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, receiving the same sentence as municipal court. On appeal, defendant presents the following arguments:

POINT I

THE DE NOVO JUDGE'S FINDING OF OPERATION CANNOT BE SUSTAINED BY SUBSTANTIAL AND CREDIBLE EVIDENCE.

A. IT WAS AN ERROR FOR THE DE NOVO JUDGE TO PLACE ANY WEIGHT UPON DEFENDANT['S] [] ADMISSION.

B. THE DE NOVO JUDGE IGNORED THE ONLY DISINTERESTED EYEWITNESS'S TESTIMONY.

C. LOGIC AND COMMON SENSE DICTATE THAT DEFENDANT [] WAS NOT THE DRIVER.

D. THE DE NOVO JUDGE MISUSED THE TESTIMONY CONTAINED IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT TRANSCRIPT.

POINT II

DEFENDANT [] CANNOT BE GUILTY OF REFUSAL WHERE THE STATE FAILS TO PROVE THE STATUTORY ELEMENTS ...


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