September 26 UPDATE from centraljersey.com–
Township Committeeman Lance Liverman, saying Wednesday that his drunk driving case is a “private matter,” did not want the media present when he pleaded guilty, so he took steps to have an unannounced court date on Sept. 20.
Mr. Liverman pleaded guilty to drunk driving and refusing to take a breathalyzer test, charges that arose from when he sideswiped an idling tractor-trailer on I-95 north in Hopewell Township on Aug. 9.
His plea resulted in a seven-month suspension of his driver’s license and around $1,000 in fines. As a result, he will not have to stand trial on Oct. 9 in Hopewell Township Municipal Court.
Mr. Liverman, a Democrat running for election to the new, consolidated Princeton Council in November, said Wednesday that his case was not on the regular court docket for Sept. 20 but the court accepted him to come in on that time. He said that is something that happens regularly, not some special treatment he received.
”This is a private matter,” said Mr. Liverman, who has been unhappy with the media focus on his case.
”I did not want the attention on me,” Mr. Liverman said in a phone interview. “I’m tired of this sensationalism at my cost.”
ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Princeton Township Committeeman Lance Liverman has been charged with DUI, refusing a Breathalyzer test, reckless driving and making an unsafe lane change after an accident early Thursday in Hopewell Township.
It happened at 1:55 a.m. along Route 95, according to New Jersey State Police Lt. Stephen Jones.
Liverman, 50, was driving a 2010 Honda Pilot when he drifted outside of his lane and sideswiped a tractor-trailer, Jones said.
“A trooper came out and believed him (Liverman) to be under the influence and took him back to the station, Jones said.
Reached on Saturday, Liverman called it a “very, very unfortunate mishap” that happened after dinner with friends in Philadelphia. He said he was driving home to Princeton when he fell asleep at the wheel.
“I dozed off,” Liverman said. “I’d worked 10 hours that day and I was exhausted.”
On the advice of counsel, Liverman declined to say if he consumed alcohol in the hours before the Thursday’s accident.
“This is the God’s honest truth: I did not know if you refuse to give a breathalyzer, that they charge you with refusal to take a breathalyzer, plus driving under the influence,” Liverman said, adding that he’s never been in trouble with the law before.
Jones said it is procedure to read a statement to those asked to take a Breathalyzer. That statement advises people of the consequences of refusing to take the test.
Neither Liverman nor the driver of tractor-trailer was injured.
Liverman said his case will likely be heard in Hopewell Township Municipal Court within the next 60 days.
“The problem is this is a statutory mandate, it’s going to be hard to beat this,” Liverman said. “It wouldn’t matter if I had a drink or not, I’m between a rock and a hard place.”
He said he has no plans to resign from Princeton Township Committee or suspend his campaign for a position on the new Princeton Council.
“I have told everyone on Committee, if this affects my ability to serve at all, or puts Princeton in a negative light, I will do what I have to do,” Liverman said.
That could include resigning, he said.
“This has really been an eye opener,” Liverman said. “In a few seconds, your whole life can be transformed, it’s really unbelievable.”
He said support from the community has been overwhelming during the past few days.
He said he’s sorry for the entire incident.
“I apologize for any confusion or anything of the sort,” Liverman said. “This is not what I wanted to be in the news for.”
via Liverman Charged with DUI, Has No Plans to Resign – Princeton, NJ Patch.