February 6, 2013 at 9:10 PM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - Council President Victor Cirilo has accepted a plea bargain negotiated with the Verona Prosecutor's Office after his drunk driving arrest last year.
As a result, Cirilo will lose his driver's license for seven months, attend a 12-hour New Jersey Intoxicated Driver Resource Center course, have an Ignition Interlock Device placed in his vehicle for six months, and pay court fines totaling approximately $1,063. He pled guilty to a DUI and refusal to take a Breathalzyer test.
The other charges of careless driving, DUI near a school zone, and failure to keep right, were dismissed.
Roy Breslow, Victor Cirilo's attorney, attempted to explain some of the facts of the case to Judge John Paparazzo. However, Paparazzo became agitated and left the courtroom abruptly, saying he wanted an apology. Once a defendant accepts a plea bargain, they waive their right to trial. Cirilo was required to admit that having three beers could have impaired his judgment, though he felt that it did not. When the judge reappeared, Cirilo had to agree that his judgment could have been impaired.
This was a first offense for Cirilo. As such, his license could have been revoked for 90 days to a year. Cirilo received the 90 days. However, the refusal to submit to a breathalyzer brought a loss of license for a seven-month minimum. The charges stemmed from an incident on November 9, 2012 when Cirilo was stopped by Verona police on Prospect Avenue in West Orange after following him from the intersection of Bloomfield and Prospect Avenue. Cirilo was taken to the Cedar Grove Police Station, and then the Verona Police station. He wanted to speak with an attorney prior to taking the breathalyzer, which was considered refusal.
Neither Cirilo nor his attorney chose to comment following the plea bargain.