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Tunnel Traffic Into NJ Jammed By Passed Out Driver, Port Authority Says

Robert D. Tume-Ponce
Robert D. Tume-Ponce Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD

An overnight traffic jam entering New Jersey from the Holland Tunnel had an uncommon twist: A driver drunk on wine had passed out behind the wheel, authorities said.

Port Authority Police Officer Christopher Hooper got caught in the 2:20 a.m. traffic jam Saturday coming from the World Trade Center, then found 48-year-old Robert D. Tume-Ponce unconscious in a 2003 Ford Explorer -- the motor running and the car in gear -- at 14th Street and Manila Avenue, the authority's Joseph Pentangelo said.

Tume-Ponce smelled of alcohol and had an open bottle of wine on the floor of the passenger seat, he said.

He was taken into custody and registered twice the legal limit on a breath test, Pentangelo said.

Tume-Ponce was charged with DWI, delaying traffic (creating the risk of an accident) and having an open alcohol container in his vehicle, which was impounded.

He was released to a responsible adult pending a court hearing.

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