A New York driver who stopped on West Avenue with their hazard lights on was arrested for suspected DUI on just after midnight on Oct. 13. An officer observed a car traveling south on West Avenue with its hazards on, and as he turn around in a nearby parking lot, he saw the vehicle pull a U-turn and go back north along the same street. The car eventually stopped in the roadway with its lights on, suggesting that assistance was needed.
The officer activated his siren lights and approached the car, noticing that all of the windows were open despite the low temperature. The car’s driver was identified as Margrit Mateo, 37, of the Bronx, N.Y. She told police she was searching for 20 West Avenue in Norwalk.
Detecting the odor of marijuana coming from the car, the officer asked if she had any in the car. Mateo asked “excuse me?” but did respond further. She was also unable to provide valid identification at the scene and appeared to be moving slowly and disoriented. The vehicle she was driving had recently been rented from Enterprise Rentals and showed signs of fresh front end damage.
Police asked Mateo to step out of the car to perform sobriety tests, and she admitted to drinking some alcohol earlier in the night. She was unable to complete the tests during several attempts, and officers asked if she wanted to be more honest about how many drinks she had. Mateo told the officers that she was cold and they were stopped on a hill, impacting her performance.
Officers told Mateo they had probable cause to search her vehicle, at which point she told them she had three grams of marijuana inside for personal use. During the search police found a makeup bag containing rolling papers, four vaporizer cartridges containing hash oil, 6.4 grams of marijuana, a grind and two plastic baggies with residue.
Mateo was charged with driving while under the influence and possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana. While being processed by police was asked to submit to a urine test to test for more intoxicants, but said she was unable to provide one.