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Police: Nearly nude driver Catherine Giaquinto faces DWI charge

1:19 PM, Jan 21, 2013   |    comments
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Sparta, NJ (Daily Record) -- A woman wearing only an unzipped jacket was charged with driving while intoxicated after she allegedly crashed into a stone wall and fled the scene, police in New Jersey said.

A resident of Grove Terrace in the Lake Mohawk section of the township contacted police at 12:53 a.m. Friday to report that a white Volkswagen Jetta had just crashed into a stone retaining wall on her property and then fled the scene, according to Sgt. John-Paul Beebe.

Officer Joseph Pensado, who was in the area on routine patrol, saw the vehicle a short time later on West Shore Trail so he conducted a motor vehicle stop.

Despite the near freezing temperatures, the officer was surprised to find that the  driver, 36-year-old Catherine Giaquinto of Warwick, N.Y., was only wearing an unzipped leather jacket, Beebe said.

Pensado spoke to Giaquinto and suspected she was under the influence of alcohol. When asked why she was driving in the nude, Giaquinto denied being completely naked, Beebe said.

The officer observed fresh damage to the left front fender, driver's side door and the rear left passenger's door which was consistent with the damaged retaining wall.

Giaquinto's speech was badly slurred and mostly unintelligible. She could not remember if she had been involved in an accident and did not know where she was going, Beebe said.

The officer observed a dress and other articles of clothing in plain view on the rear passenger seat of the vehicle. He retrieved these items and directed Giaquinto to get dressed. It took approximately 10 minutes for Giaquinto to put her clothes on and when she was done, the officer noted that she had put her dress on inside out and backwards, Beebe said.

After Giaquinto was dressed, she was then directed to exit her motor vehicle to attempt to perform a series of field sobriety tests. Due to her high level of intoxication, Giaquinto could not maintain her balance by simply standing still and listening to the officer's instructions, Beebe said.

These tests were terminated by the officer a short time later for Giaquinto's own safety. She was placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters for processing and breath testing, Beebe said.

During processing, Giaquinto became argumentative and disorderly. She was subsequently charged with driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to breath testing, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, careless driving, failure to wear a seatbelt and a documentation violation.

She was released several hours later to a sober adult and her vehicle was impounded.

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