Police: Man was driving in car drunk, with open container and 12-year-old in passenger seat

Not even a man driving with an open container of alcohol in his car with a 12-year-old child in the passenger seat seems to be enough to get this state to throw the book at a criminal defendant. With that said, if this case doesn’t raise your ire, not much likely would.

On May 12, at about 1 a.m., Officer Tom Collins was patrolling when he observed a silver BMW traveling at a high rate of speed. The driver appeared to have difficulty navigating a turn into the Burger King drive-thru as he had to repeatedly reverse and correct his turning course so as to miss the curbs. When the vehicle came to a stop, near Ulta (which was closed), Collins approached to speak to the adult driver, and immediately observed an alcoholic beverage in a cup holder. Tragically, he also observed a 12-year-old child sitting in the passenger seat.

Collins says the adult driver also reeked of alcohol and displayed signs of impairment. Field-sobriety tests were conducted, on which Ibn A. Cuffie, 33, of Irvington, reportedly failed. He was arrested, the vehicle was impounded and officers maintained temporary custody of the child until the 12-year-old’s mother responded to take him.

Cuffie’s license was later found to be suspended. Furthermore, Cuffie was found to have a warrant outstanding for his arrest, issued by the Jersey City Municipal Court, for previously driving while suspended (These days, a valid driver’s license is just a suggestion.)

Cuffie was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, DWI, reckless driving, open container of alcohol in the vehicle, driving while suspended and refusal to submit samples of breath (Alco test). Jersey City did not wish to take custody of Cuffie pursuant to their warrant, and issued a new court date on the “promise” that he appears. He was then released from custody to a family member.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.