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State v. Gladney

May 18, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ALEXANDER GLADNEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Municipal Appeal No. 03-2009.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued May 3, 2010

Before Judges Lisa and Baxter.

Defendant, Alexander Gladney, appeals from his conviction after a trial de novo in the Law Division, see R. 3:23-8(a), of driving while intoxicated (DWI), N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a).*fn1 Defendant was sentenced to a $250 fine, $33 costs, twelve hours intoxicated driver's resource center, and a three-month driver's license suspension. Defendant argues:

I. THE COURT BELOW FAILED TO APPLY THE TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES TEST WHICH, WHEN APPLIED, REVEALS THE OFFICER DID NOT HAVE PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST THE PETITIONER.

A. The admission of the consumption of one beer does not establish probable cause.

II. THE STATE FAILED TO PRODUCE ADEQUATE EVIDENCE THAT THE PETITIONER COMMITTED THE DRIVING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OFFENSE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

III. THE COURT BELOW MISAPPLIED THE PRINCIPLES AND FAILED TO DISTINGUISH THE FACTS IN THE RELEVANT CASE LAW.

We reject these arguments and affirm.

At about 3:00 a.m. on July 4, 2008, Officer Matthew Rulli of the Merchantville Police Department, while on routine patrol, observed defendant driving his vehicle. In his testimony before the municipal court, Rulli described what he saw thusly:

I observed him driving westbound towards Center Street swerving over the double yellow line. When he got to the intersection of Center Street and Maple Avenue, he -- he stopped for a second into the middle of the intersection, proceeded to make a right, went northbound on Center Street. There was another red light saying no turn on red where he made a wide turn without stopping. He came to a -- he slowed down, didn't stop completely, and made a right on red.

Rulli effected a motor vehicle stop. He observed defendant's eyes to be "watery" and "bloodshot," and he detected an odor of alcohol emanating from defendant's breath. When he asked defendant for his credentials, it "took him several minutes to get them." Defendant was looking through a series of items, and had difficulty identifying the documents that were requested. At one point, he handed Rulli the title to the vehicle and then started handing him a different document. Rulli pointed out some of the credentials, helping defendant determine which were the proper documents. Defendant produced a driver's license and registration, but was unable to produce a valid insurance card.

Rulli asked defendant whether he had been drinking and where he was coming from. Defendant said he had consumed about two drinks (later described through further testimony as wine) at a club in Philadelphia. Defendant told Rulli that the reason for his erratic ...


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