SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Police charged a Franklin Park man with driving while intoxicated, driving while suspended and other offenses after witnesses reported seeing him drinking while driving a backhoe down New Road Tuesday afternoon.
According to police, William Campbell, 56, of Franklin Park, was driving the backhoe west on New Road at 3:45 p.m. when Officer Robert Rask pulled him over for drifting back and forth in the lane and onto the shoulder of the road.
Rask reported that Campbell appeared to be slouching over the steering wheel of the backhoe and police had received calls reporting that he was allegedly drinking beer while operating the piece of construction equipment.
Police said that Rask detected alcohol on Campbell’s breath and conducted field sobriety tests on him and then arrested him for DWI.
Rask recovered a bottle of Jack Daniels and a bottle of vodka from Campbell, who admitted that he did not have a valid driver’s license, police said.
In addition to the DWI, Campbell was also charged with careless driving, failing to maintain a lane, having an open container of alcohol, and driving while suspended as a result of a prior DWI conviction, which is a fourth-degree crime, police said.
According to police, Campbell has seven prior DWI convictions going back to 1980.
One of those prior arrests took place on May 26, 2012 when Campbell’s 1994 Ford pickup truck almost hit a police patrol car at the intersection of North Umberland Way and Route 522.
According to police, Campbell was driving south on North Umberland Way and did not stop after entering the Route 522 intersection, almost hitting Sgt. Frank Lombardo, who had to slam on his brakes to avoid a collision.
Police said that Lombardo tried to pull Campbell over, but the truck sped up through the South Ridge development, striking two curbs.
Campbell then drove east onto New Road and the behind some commercial buildings.
According to police, Campbell made a U-turn and came back at Lombardo’s vehicle, again almost causing a collision.
Police said he then pulled up to the rear of one of the buildings and “stumbled” out of the vehicle where Lombardo then arrested him.
At that point, police said his license had already been suspended 10 times.
In Tuesday’s case, he was released pending his first court appearance, scheduled for January, police said.
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