Township Committeeman Lance Liverman Pleads Guilty to DWI
Princeton Township Committeeman, Lance Liverman, pled guilty to DWI. He will lose his license for seven months.
Princeton Township Committee Member, Lance Liverman, has pleaded guilty to drunken driving and refusing to take a breath test following his arrest last month.
50-year-old Liverman was arrested on August 9 for DUI after an accident that happened on Route 95. Liverman was driving north at around 1:55 a.m. when he drifted out of his lane and sideswiped a tractor-trailer on the shoulder of I-95 in Hopewell Township. He was driving his 2010 blue Honda Pilot. Luckily, no one was hurt in the accident.
A New Jersey State Trooper present at the scene of the accident asked Liverman to take a Breathalyzer test, which he refused. Liverman was then arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence, reckless driving, unsafe lane change and refusal to take a breath test.
Liverman is running for a spot in the newly consolidated Princeton council. However, as a result of the charges, he is taking a seven-month suspension of his driver’s license. Moreover, he will have to pay a little more than $1,000 as a result of the plea which he entered on September 20 during an unannounced court date.
According to Liverman, he had no idea that a refusal would mean not only a DUI, but also an additional charge for refusal.
At the time of the accident, Liverman admitted that he was exhausted and fell asleep at the wheel. He was on his way home after having dinner with friends in Philadelphia.
Liverman appeared before Hopewell Township Municipal Court Judge Charles Ouslander on September 11 and told the judge that he was unable to reach an agreement with the prosecutor and was scheduled for trial on October 9.
However, instead of waiting, Liverman appeared in court on September 20 unannounced and pled guilty. He told Town Topics that he decided to appear in court quietly due to the media frenzy present on September 11 in Hopewell. Since he appeared unannounced, his name did not appear on the public docket, but the court allowed him to make an appearance. There were only two reporters present in this court appearance.
“I’m taking my lumps,” Liverman said. “This is my penalty and I’m accepting it. I’m just trying to get this behind me and move on.”
Liverman admitted to having a few beers the night of the accident, but he claimed that he was not drunk. He also said that he was unaware of the consequences of not taking a breath test, which left him with very few viable options of how to proceed with the case after his arrest.
“For me, I used to drive for a living, I could drive 15-20 hours a day,” Liverman said. “But at 50 years old, I can’t do that anymore. This has been a wakeup call for me.”
Liverman also said that he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received from the community despite the negative attention.
“People have been coming up to me no matter where I am, and saying ‘if you need me, I’m here.’ It’s been really, really, touching. I’m blessed to be here. I’m really moved by the community. People have been so kind, so respectful, and it shows a side of Princeton that I knew was there and I knew existed I’m usually the one helping others, but people coming to help me,” he said. “It’s a humbling experience.”
His advice for anyone who is stopped and asked to take a Breathalyzer test?
“Consent no matter what,” Liverman said. “And if you’re physically impaired (from anything), don’t drive.”
Liverman still hopes to hold one of the six new council positions next year.