If you drive for about an hour north of Manalapan, you’ll come to East Orange, New Jersey. The city is one of several where a municipal judge Wilfredo Benitez presides.
According to news reports, the jurist was found passed out in his silver BMW at a little past two in the morning. A recently released video shows Benitez repeatedly telling state troopers that he’s “a f–king judge” before he was handcuffed and arrested for drunk driving.
The judge was given a breath test that apparently showed his blood-alcohol level was approximately twice the legal limit. However, Benitez was found not guilty of driving while intoxicated, NJ.com reported.
According to the news account, the judge in Benitez’s case threw out the breath “test results because of discrepancies in the timeline of when the test was conducted.”
The state mandates that defendants are to be observed for 20 uninterrupted minutes before the test is administered. The wait ensures that the person does not do anything that could affect test results.
Benitez’s attorney pointed out to the court that it was not clear that the waiting period had been observed in this case.
The judge in the Benitez case said that there was no testimony that Benitez “had bloodshot, droopy eyes, that his clothes were disheveled, that he was swaying, holding on for balance.”
Benitez is currently hearing cases, though he is forbidden from hearing DWI matters.
If you face New Jersey’s harsh DWI punishments, speak with an attorney experienced in drunk driving defense to learn more about your legal options.