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Police & Fire

2018's First GWB DWI: Unlicensed Chestnut Ridge Driver Wanted On Warrants

PAPD GWB Photo Credit: PHOTO: Jerry DeMarco / INSET: PAPD

An unlicensed Chestnut Ridge motorist wanted on three warrants became the first DWI driver busted by Port Authority police on the George Washington Bridge in 2018, authorities said.

Officer Ed Berdecia stopped the New Jersey-bound black BMW sedan on the upper level around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday after the driver -- Rafael A. Hidalgo, 45 -- "abruptly changed lanes without signaling, crossed two lanes of traffic and then crossed back across two lanes," the authority's Joseph Pentangelo said.

"There was a strong odor of alcohol on the suspect's breath and his eyes were watery and bloodshot," Pentangelo said, adding that Hidalgo "lost his balance and swayed during the field sobriety test," then later failed a breath test.

Hidalgo, whose driver's license had been suspended, was charged with DWI, contempt and driving with a suspended license. He also received several summonses before being released to a responsible adult.

Records showed that Hidalgo was wanted on a trio of warrants out of Alpine, NJ, Pentangelo said.

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