An Ocean County jury has found a Brick man guilty of driving with a suspended license after two drunk driving arrests, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said.
The jury rendered its verdict on Wednesday. John M. Torres, 46, is facing up to 18 months in state prison, he said.
Point Pleasant Beach Sgt. Matthew Duffy testified
before Superior Court Judge James M. Blaney and the jury, that while he was on
routine patrol on December 14, 2011, he observed a blue Ford Econoline Van
traveling on Arnold Avenue.
Duffy ran a computer check of defendant’s registration and saw that it had expired and that the license plates attached to the van were registered to a black GMC, he said.
Duffy conducted a motor vehicle stop and advised Torres of his reasons for the stop. The defendant admitted he was driving while suspended and with fictitious plates. He was charged with driving while suspended, fictitious plates, failure to register and operating an uninsured vehicle. Torres was taken into custody on outstanding warrants.
Duffy then testified that he reviewed Torres' certified driving abstract from the state Motor Vehicle Commission and found that Torres had two drunk driving convictions from 2004 and 2006.
Torres' driving privileges were suspended in 2006 and never restored. A state statute enacted in 2011 deems it unlawful to drive while suspended for a second or subsequent DWI and stiffened the penalties, the prosecutor said.
faces a mandatory term of incarceration between 180 days and 18 months. Torres was released on his own recognizance pending his sentencing
scheduled for June 27, Coronato said.