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State v. Curry

November 18, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
SHANNON T. CURRY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, Municipal Appeal No. 08-094.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued October 26, 2010

Before Judges Yannotti and Espinosa.

Defendant Shannon T. Curry appeals from her conviction of driving while intoxicated (DWI), contrary to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, and the sentence imposed. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

I.

On January 27, 2007, Marilyn Crescitelli (Crescitelli) was driving south on Route 35 near the bridge from Brielle to Point Pleasant Beach. Crescitelli observed a silver Cadillac enter the highway without stopping or yielding, forcing Crescitelli to move to the left lane.

Crescitelli saw the Cadillac strike the guard rail and cement barrier of the bridge. The Cadillac approached the traffic light after the bridge, drove across the two lanes and onto the shoulder of the highway. Crescitelli estimated that the Cadillac was traveling at between forty and forty-five miles per hour.

Crescitelli thought the driver might have been hurt. She followed the Cadillac, which made a sharp turn into a parking lot. Crescitelli pulled over and called the police. She gave the police a description of the woman who had been driving the car. She saw the driver exit the vehicle and enter a white building or house. Crescitelli testified that she was not "one hundred percent" sure that defendant was the person who had been driving the car.

Sergeant Robert Goessel (Goessel) of the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department (PPBPD) testified that he had been dispatched to investigate the matter. He observed a light- colored Cadillac in the parking lot, with damage on its right hand side. Goessel knocked on the front door of the building. No one answered. Goessel knew there was an apartment on the second floor. He went up the outside stairs to the second floor and knocked on the door.

A man came to the door. Goessel told the man that the police had received a report that the vehicle in the parking lot had been involved in an accident. Goessel asked if the driver of the vehicle was at home. The man called into the apartment and defendant came to the door.

Goessel told defendant that the police had received a report that her vehicle had been involved in an accident. Goessel said that he would need to see her driver's license, vehicle registration and insurance card. Defendant told Goessel that the documents were in the car. Defendant and Goessel went down the stairs to the parking lot, and defendant retrieved the documents.

Goessel asked defendant if she remembered the portion of the bridge that she hit. Defendant said she struck the bridge "on the rise," which indicated to Goessel that the accident occurred in Brielle. Goessel accordingly contacted the PPBPD dispatcher and asked to have a police officer from Brielle respond to the scene.

Patrolman Michael Mechler (Mechler) of the Brielle Police Department (BPD) arrived and spoke with defendant. Mechler noticed that defendant's eyes were bloodshot and she was swaying from side to side. Mechler also detected the odor of an ...


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