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Woman claims Coronavirus in DUI arrest
Woman claims Coronavirus in DUI arrest: A New Jersey woman is facing criminal charges for allegedly falsely claiming to have coronavirus while she was being arrested for a DUI earlier this month. The incident prompted three officers to temporarily go into quarantine.
Ms. Lea Piazza, 28, was arrested in Hanover, Morris County, on March 12 after being involved in a one-car crash, The Hill reported Tuesday. The Hanover Township Police Department said Piazza was allegedly driving drunk at the time of her crash.
Just as she would have been if she had an Orange County DUI arrest, Ms. Piazza was charged with false public alarm, refusal to take a breath test, careless driving, and reckless driving.
California also has a law, Penal Code section 148, which can be charged whenever someone makes false statements to the police. In 148.5, if states that “every person who reports to any peace officer…, knowing the report to be false, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
At the scene of the driving under the influence crash, the DUI suspect allegedly began breathing on officers and acting belligerent. She continued breathing on them once she was taken to the station for questioning, telling them she had been infected with coronavirus from her hospitalized boyfriend, police said.
“Oh by the way, I have the coronavirus and now so do you,” Piazza told allegedly told Hanover police during questioning.
An investigation found Piazza to be lying, police said. Her infected boyfriend turned out to be a man she had gone out with on one date. He had visited the hospital for issues with his teeth.
The suspected DUI driver reportedly called the Hanover Township Police the next day to apologize for her behavior.