A couple was arrested in New Jersey this week for two separate instances of drunk driving, each within six hours of each other according to a report from USA Today’s Daily Record. The boyfriend was the first to be arrested after a police officer responded to a call about a vehicle left on the side of the highway with its engine running, blinker on and keys in the ignition. After a lack of cooperation on the boyfriend’s part and a declined Alcotest (New Jersey’s breathalyzer program), the police arrested him and charged him with DWI and a host of other alcohol and traffic related offenses including disorderly conduct. He was then taken to jail to wait in a holding cell until someone could show up to take him home.
When his girlfriend arrived to do just that, officers noticed her breath smelled like alcohol. She admitted to drinking earlier in the day, and upon taking the field sobriety test and an breathalyzer, was discovered to blow a .28%—well over .08%, which is the legal maximum in each state. She was then charged with DWI and joined her boyfriend to wait for someone to retrieve her from the police station. The girlfriend’s arrest raises all sorts of questions about D.C. DUI law—like when and how a police officer can charge you with a DWI or DUI. Based on the article alone, the girlfriend wasn’t even driving the vehicle when she spoke with the officers. How could she have been arrested? After all, driving under the influence requires that the person was driving not just that they were under the influence.