Hopatcong police say that they took three people into custody on Jan. 5 after receiving a call at around 10:40 p.m. concerning a vehicle on Harvard Trail and Divito Trail. The caller noted that a light inside the car was being turned on and off.

The driver of the vehicle reportedly drove off when one of the officers arrived, but the officer stopped the car on Crescent Road. After approaching the vehicle, the officer claims that he smelled burnt cannabis coming from inside it.

The officer told the 19-year-old male driver to step out of the vehicle. Meanwhile, another officer asked the 19-year-old male passenger to step out from the back seat. He allegedly had a clear bag containing marijuana, a glass pipe that reportedly had the residue of burnt marijuana inside it and a grinder. The rear passenger and a 19-year-old woman who was riding in the front passenger seat reportedly told the officers that all three of them were smoking cannabis in the car.

Police took all three into custody, and a drug recognition expert was called to test the driver. The detective determined that the driver was under the influence of cannabis, and all three people face charges for being under the influence. The driver faces additional reckless driving and DWI charges as well as a probationary driving violation. The back-seat passenger also faces charges for marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession.

Being convicted of DWI could carry heavy penalties, including fines, community service and jail time. It may also cause problems when a defendant seeks employment while an employed person might lose his or her job. A lawyer might possibly be able to negotiate reduced charges and penalties if the defendant agrees to complete a substance abuse program.

Source: NJ.com, “Report of suspicious vehicle leads to DWI, pot arrests in Hopatcong”, Warren Reporter, Jan. 9, 2015