WATCH: Lou Young reports that two men were arrested for drunk driving and creating man-made black ice to cover up the cause of the accident.
Two men from Sparta, New Jersey were arrested over the weekend on drunk driving charges after police say at least one of them poured water onto a road in an attempt to convince officers black ice, not booze, was the cause of an accident.
Brian Byers and Alexander Zambenedetti, both 20, were arrested for driving under the influence after Byers ran a stop sign and hit a guardrail while behind the wheel of his BMW early Saturday morning, Sparta Police said in a statement.
Shortly after the crash, police allege, Zambenedetti arrived in a separate car and the two men dumped a 5-gallon bucket of water onto the freezing road to create black ice.
Police say it’s unclear whether the two made multiple trips to get water to pour over the road.
Authorities said in a statement that when officers arrived on the scene while on routine patrol they saw Byers walking in the middle of the road and Zambenedetti sitting shirtless in his car despite an outdoor temperature as low as -15 C. Officers said two plastic five gallon buckets which still had water in them were spotted in the back seat of the vehicle.
Police said Byers was arrested and charged with drunk driving, careless driving, failure to stop at a stop sign, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident and disorderly conduct for creating dangerous driving conditions by purposely icing the intersection. Zambenedetti denied pouring water on the road but police charged him with impaired driving after he failed a field sobriety test.
Police say the city’s public works department had to use a half ton of salt to make the road safe for drivers.
The duo is scheduled to make their first court appearance in Sparta Municipal court Thursday.
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