21 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by jo_benkins

Man Drove with Expired License for Seven Years

Man charged by Forks Township police with DUI on New Year's Eve, arraigned Thursday.

Man Drove with Expired License for Seven Years

A man charged by Forks Township police with driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve was found to have a driver’s license that expired almost seven years ago, court records say.

Also, the man remained a John Doe during his arrest and time spent at the county DUI center, where he refused chemical testing. The man provided no identification and there was no record for the information he did provide, the records say.

It wasn’t until police took him to county central booking, where they could perform a “live scan” on the John Doe, that they were able to identify him as Luis Manuel Lazu.

A “live scan” captures fingerprints and palm prints electronically without the need for traditional ink and paper. It allows police to identify people and get a handle on their age, date of birth and other facts.

Court records list Lazu, 38, as living on the 600 block of S. Main Street in Phillipsburg. They also say the vehicle he was driving – a blue 1995 Dodge Dakota pickup – has New Jersey license plates.

But the court records list his driver’s license as being from Pennsylvania and that it expired June 18, 2006.

Lazu also was charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana, and police found an active bench warrant for failure to appear for an alleged parole violation.

Forks Officer Matthew Balodis writes in a criminal complaint that he stopped Lazu around 10:15 Monday night on N. Delaware Drive (Route 611) after spotting the Dodge Dakota going north and speeding.

Balodis followed the truck and saw it was following a vehicle in front of it too closely. The truck also crossed the double yellow lines in the center of N. Delaware Drive and went over the white fog line on the side of the road.

Lazu was by himself when Balodis stopped the truck. The officer “immediately” detected the smell of alcohol coming from Lazu, who also was slurring his speech and had red, glassy eyes.

Lazu submitted to a portable breath test, which registered positive for alcohol, and failed field sobriety tests.

After arresting Lazu, Balodis found a small clear plastic baggy in Lazu’s right front pants pocket. The baggy later tested positive for marijuana.

In addition to the DUI and marijuana charges, Lazu was charged with driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, careless driving and following too closely.

He was arraigned Thursday by District Judge Jackie Taschner of Palmer Township. She set bail at $1,000, but Lazu had been jailed earlier because of the bench warrant, the court records say.

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