Officer Facing Trial for False DWI Accusation of Assemblyman

download (62)Here’s an example of a case where a DUI arrest led to exoneration and to the trial of the officer who allegedly made false statements. Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D., Gloucester) was arrested for DUI after leaving a Nissan dealership in Turnersville. The officer claimed he could smell alcohol and ordered the Assemblyman to perform field sobriety tests before getting handcuffed and taken to the station for a breath test.

The Assemblyman refused the breath test because he “had no faith in the process at that point.” When footage of the incident was shown at trial, the officer’s narrative was completely refuted and the criminal charges were dismissed. The prosecutor even went so far as to tell jurors “None of this happened.” Now the officer faces 14 charges in his own trial, including official misconduct and tampering with records.

During the Assemblyman’s testimony in Officer DiBuonavenutra’s trial, he said that he felt targeted, but had no idea why. He was pressed by the defense about why he refused the breath test despite voting for legislation dealing with that requirement. He said that he didn’t trust the process and he wanted to consult with his attorney. “Even in the military, you don’t have to follow an illegal order.”

Moriarty was also visibly upset during testimony as he recounted the media firestorm that happened to him after his arrest. Despite being exonerated, his reputation was tarnished due to the incident.

This case is evidence that sometimes the police do get it wrong, and potentially do it deliberately to land a DUI arrest. Don’t let them get away with it. Call Steven Kellis, DUI defense attorney for the State of Pennsylvania, for a free consultation as soon as you can after your arrest.