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DWI charges for New Jersey man in elf costume

According to authorities, a 23-year-old man from Cedar Grove who allegedly passed out in his car in a Riverdale store parking lot on Route 23 was taken into custody on Dec. 19. The Riverdale Police Department was dispatched to the store after receiving a report of a suspicious vehicle around 3:30 a.m.

The car was parked by the store's loading dock, sources indicate; the engine was running, the lights were on and the radio was blaring. The man inside the car was dressed as an elf and asleep behind the wheel. The officer reportedly detected a strong alcoholic odor on his breath and shut the car off before waking the man.

According to the police report, the suspect seemed disoriented and had an open beer can inside of his vehicle. After a series of field sobriety tests was conducted, the subject was transported to police headquarters for an official breath test. He now faces charges of driving while intoxicated, possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle and careless driving. He was released to the custody of a family member, and a Jan. 6 court appearance has been scheduled.

In New Jersey, penalties for a drunk driving conviction can range from fines to jail time, depending on the severity of the offense. If a suspect is issued a DWI charge and is responsible for causing a car accident that led to injury, the associated conviction may be more severe than one that doesn't involve harm to another, such as appears to ahve been the case here. Individuals with pending DWI charges may wish to consult with a criminal defense attorney to discuss their options.

Source: NJ.com, "Man dressed as elf charged with DWI", Kimberly Redmond, December 20, 2014

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