PATERSON, N.J. -- A swerving taxi stopped by a Passaic County sheriff's officer on a Paterson street was driven by a cabbie who had an open bottle of cognac on the seat next to him -- then registered more than twice the legal alcohol limit on a breath test, authorities said Sunday.
Officer Carlos Aymat stopped the cab as it headed south on Madison Avenue toward 21st Avenue just before 4:30 a.m. Sunday, Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.
Aymat "detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage" on the driver, identified as Jose Moya-Garcia of Paterson, Berdnik said.
The officer then spotted the bottle of Rémy Martin on the front passenger seat, he said.
Aymat -- who the sheriff said later registered 1.7% on a breath test -- was charged with DWI and issued summonses for offenses that included having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.
"Taxi patrons should not have to wonder if their driver is drunk and that they would get to there destination in a safe manner," Berdnik said. "[Aymat] could have caused considerable harm to his passengers and to the general public."