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License plate cues Bethlehem Police to felony DWI arrest

Bethlehem police charged a Colonie man with driving while intoxicated after he left the scene of an accident, and his license plate, on Route 9W.

David A. Jewell, 45, of Colonie, was arrested Sunday, July 13, for felony aggravated DWI, operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of 0.18 percent or greater; felony DWI, second offense; felony operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater; leaving the scene of a property-damage auto accident; failure to use a designated lane; and failure to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of address change.

Police said an officer was dispatched to Frontage Road and Route 9W after getting calls of a possibly intoxicated driver, who was reported to have hit a traffic sign before leaving the scene.

When officers arrived, no suspect was to be found, according to the arrest report, but police discovered numerous parts of a vehicle including [a] license plate.

Police ran the plate number, which turned up Jewell's name. They called his home, which was listed as Colonie, and spoke with his wife, the report stated. His wife said Jewell was not home and "might be headed to his parents house [in] Delmar," according to police.

When police arrived at the address given to them, they discovered a vehicle with severe front-end damage parked on the front lawn of the Delmar home. The report stated that the vehicle's damage included a broken windshield and flat tires and that the interior smelled like alcohol.

Jewell was found inside of the home and, according to the report, he said he hit a guardrail and didn't know he had to report it. Police said they could smell alcohol when interviewing Jewell, he showed signs of intoxication and he had "trouble maintaining his balance on his own."

Jewell told police that he was drinking brandy and whiskey, and he was given a field-sobriety test, which he failed, and he tested positive for alcohol on a pre-screening device, according to the report.

He was taken into custody without incident and arraigned before Bethlehem Town Justice Paul Dwyer, according to Bethlehem police, and his license plate was "secured for evidence" before police transported him back home.

Jewell is scheduled to appear at Bethlehem Town on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

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