STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. STUART LONG
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE
APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
DOCKET NO. A-2907-05T22907-05T2
STATE OF NEW JERSEY,
Submitted December 5, 2006 - Decided December 18, 2006
Before Judges Skillman and Holston, Jr.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Docket No. 47-2005.
Nina Rossi, attorney for appellant.
Bruce J. Kaplan, Middlesex County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Simon Louis Rosenbach, Assistant Prosecutor, on the brief).
Defendant was charged in the Cranbury Township Municipal Court with disorderly conduct, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2(a); terroristic threats, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3(a); driving while under the influence of alcohol, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50; consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-51a, and various other motor vehicle offenses. Defendant's motion to suppress the evidence against him was denied.
Pursuant to a plea bargain under which the other charges were dismissed, defendant pled guilty to driving while under the influence and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. The plea agreement preserved defendant's right to appeal the denial of his motion to suppress.
The municipal court suspended defendant's motor vehicle license for seven months for driving while under the influence and imposed a concurrent 30-day suspension of his license for consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. In addition, the court required defendant to spend twelve to forty-eight hours in an Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center and to perform ten days of community service. The court also imposed the statutorily mandated fines, penalties and assessments.
The Law Division affirmed the denial of defendant's motion to suppress based on a de novo review of the municipal court record and reimposed the same sentence imposed by the municipal court.
On his appeal to this court, defendant presents the following arguments:
I. DEFENDANT WAS DENIED HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO CONFRONT THE PRINCIPAL WITNESS AGAINST HIM.
II. THIS CASE IS ENTIRELY DISTINGUISHABLE FROM THE 9-1-1 CASES RELIED UPON BY THE COURT.
We reject these arguments and affirm the denial of defendant's motion to suppress substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge Gelade's November 16, 2005 oral opinion. We agree with the trial judge that the facts in this case are similar to those in State v. Golotta, 178 N.J. 205, 218 (2003), and that the 9-1-1 call to the police department, which was corroborated by the responding officers' observation of defendant operating his truck in his driveway, provided a sufficient factual foundation for a reasonable and articulable suspicion that defendant was operating his truck while under the influence and that such operation could pose a significant risk of death or injury to himself and the public.
December 18, 2006