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Drunk Driving Charges Against Fort Lee Official Dismissed

Patch file photo
Patch file photo

Drunk driving charges against the Fort Lee emergency management chief have been dismissed after a police officer’s testimony raised questions about the acuracy of a sobriety test, NorthJersey.com reported.


Stephen Ferraro, 61, pleaded guilty to unsafely changing lanes, a two-point moving violation, the report said. A reckless driving charge was dismissed in a plea deal and the points will be removed if Ferraro avoids other violations within a year.


A retired borough police captain, Ferraro was pulled over driving a borough-owned Jeep in Cliffside Park Feb. 26 for reportedly slowing down, breaking and crossing the double-yellow line multiple times on Palisade Avenue.


The police officer testified high winds and rain could have impacted the field sobriety test and acknowledged Ferraro was left unmonitored before taking a Alcotest at headquarters, according to the report. State law, however, requires a suspect to be watched for 20 minutes before taking the test.


Ferraro was ordered to pay $81 in fines and $33 in court fees, the report said.


Baba O'Riley December 06, 2013 at 08:15 AM
Let's see: a retired Fort Lee Police Department Captain gets pulled over for a traffic violation (in Cliffside Park) and somehow the arresting officer(s) administer a field sobriety test under not so perfect conditions and then leave him unattended for a period of time at police headquarters!? What is wrong with this picture!? I was led to believe that we are a country of laws and not a country of men. I guess I was wrong (at least in terms of the Cliffside Park Police Department). Maybe the Police Department should send their officers for retraining in how to deal with suspected drunk drivers.
Ottmar Pak December 06, 2013 at 08:53 AM
Being the law is 9/10th's of the law...
Jerry Wish December 06, 2013 at 11:20 AM
How is this newsworthy? If the officer wanted to do a "favor" he wouldn't have arrested in the first place.
Ottmar Pak December 06, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Jerry, the officer seemed to be doing his job, but the retired cop and his attorney clearly had the advantage of knowing the protocol, resulting in a dismissal of the charge. Kind of like the ballplayer, Braun. His drug test was off the chart, but it could not be used against him because of a technicality in the handling of the sample. If you or I were pulled over as described here, we might not have been as fortunate. Inequality and injustice may be the way of the world, but it is still newsworthy.
JJ December 07, 2013 at 09:19 AM
Hummm, Lets see I used to work for the Borough Hall, and the same thing happened to me even through I knew Judge John De Shepplo ,I went to court & Had to surrender my Lic pay a Lawyer, got points,and they only reading they got was less than 1/10 of a point over ?? the legal limit. I didn't hit anyone, Nor was I envolved in any accident. The story goes I DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE AT ALL , NOTHING NOT EVEN A SIP AT A SOCIAL AND GET BEHIND THE WHEEL !! SOME PEOPLE LEARN, BUT SOME ARE JUST BLANTENLY JUST STUPID !!!!
Anna December 07, 2013 at 12:21 PM
I am not at all surprised by that outcome.

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