A Newark woman protested being charged with driving while intoxicated, despite getting caught with marijuana and a partially consumed bottle of Fireball whiskey, proclaiming “there are rapists and murderers” that should be higher priority, police said.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Aliza B. Ballester, 28, of Newark, was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana) in a motor vehicle and possession of an open container in a motor vehicle, according to Port Authority police spokesman Joe Pentangelo.
At about 9:40 p.m. last night, Port Authority Police stationed near the Holland Tunnel were notified by an off-duty officer that a black 2015 Honda Civic was traveling eastbound toward the Holland Tunnel entrance, officials said.
The off-duty officer relayed real-time information on the vehicle, explaining that the officer reported the vehicle was being driven recklessly with its high-beam lights on, authorities said.
The Honda was stopped by Port Authority Police Officer Rhett Peppi. Peppi interviewed the driver once the vehicle was stopped, observing the driver’s eyes were watery and glassy, police said.
He also noted a strong odor of alcohol and marijuana emanating from the vehicle. The driver explained she had consumed beer and a “joint” could be found in the vehicle in the ashtray, officials said.
Ballester swayed during a field sobriety test and reeked of a strong smell of alcohol. She failed the field sobriety test and was placed under arrest, authorities said.
The driver’s compartment of the vehicle was littered with raw marijuana buds, and a small bag of marijuana was recovered under the passenger seat, as well as a partially consumed bottle of Fireball whiskey that was wedged against the console, police said.
A breathalyzer revealed a blood alcohol content well over the .08 limit. During processing, Ballester protested her arrest saying “there are rapists and murderers” that should be a higher priority, officials said.