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4 N.J.A.R. 191

Sais, Robert K.; Motor Vehicles, Division
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Citation: 4 N.J.A.R. 191
Decision Date: 1979
Synopsis: Robert K. Sais was arrested for a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 and was charged with a refusal to submit to a breath alcohol test as required by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4. The administrative law judge found that at approximately one o'clock in the morning, Sais was arrested and charged with a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 and that two breath alcohol tests were made with negative results. The judge found that a patrolman who knew of the breath tests was then told to transport Sais to the hospital for a blood test, return him to his car and release him, which he did. Approximate- ly five minutes later, the same patrolman who released him observed Sais' car traveling along the road at high speed and thus pursued and stopped the car. Upon being stopped, Sais complained of being 'hassled' and refused to produce his license and registration. The patrolman observed that Sais staggered and that his voice was slurred. Sais was arrested and transported to police headquarters where he refused to take a breath test. The administrative law judge found that the issues of arrest and refusal to submit to a breath test had been established by a preponderance of the evidence. The judge found, however, that the patrolman lacked the requisite reasonable grounds to believe Sais was intoxicated since the patrolman possessed no direct evidence indepen- dent of his immediately past experience with Sais to support that Sais was drinking. The judge observed that to the extent Sais' driving was erratic or his conduct bizarre, the patrolman should have suspected that the conduct was caused by, if by anything, a substance other than alcohol. Accordingly, the administrative law judge concluded that the pa- trolman lacked the probable cause required by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 et seq. to request that Sais submit to a breath alcohol test at the time of his re-arrest and ordered that the proposed suspension of Sais' license be dismissed.
Statute(s) Cited: 39:4-50 et seq.