All James Rigney Jr. had to do for advice was look at the ad on the web site for the Hackettstown First Aid and Rescue Squad. Right there (above), next to a picture of one of the ambulances Rigney drives as assistant foreman for the squad, is an ad that says Don’t Drink and Drive. Police in Hackettstown say Rigney didn’t heed that warning last night and had a blood-alcohol content of .08.
A Hackettstown First Aid & Rescue Squad member was arrested Wednesday night for driving an ambulance while intoxicated, Sgt. Darren Tynan said.
Patrols responded to a medical call on Vans Drive just after 9 p.m. and saw the ambulance drive past the location, Tynan said. A short time later, the officer saw the ambulance enter the complex the wrong way, Tynan said.
A Hackettstown police officer at the scene could smell alcohol on Rigney’s breath, but Rigney refused to perform field sobriety tests, police said. He was taken to police headquarters and charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated in a school zone and careless driving. He was released pending a court appearance.
The squad hasn’t yet decided how to respond to the incident, said Hackettstown Deputy Mayor Gerald DiMaio. He said he spoke to squad Chief Kevin Ficarra earlier today, and Ficarra said he has started discussions with other members as to what action to take.“It’s an unfortunate incident. I’m just grateful that our police department recognized that the ambulance driver was intoxicated before a transport was done,” DiMaio said. “That could have been a problem.”
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