The Hopatcong Police received a call Saturday morning from a motorist who saw a vehicle behind her going into the oncoming lane several times on Sparta-Stanhope Road.
Police arrived at the area of Wills Avenue sometime around 7 a.m., where the caller and driver had pulled over. The responding officer spoke to the caller who told the officer what she observed and also talked to the driver, later identified as Joseph Hannivig, 25, who had an 8-month-old infant in a car seat.
As the officer spoke to Hannivig, the officer observed an empty “shooter" (an airplane-sized bottle) of Jim Bean Honey and an unopened one in Hannivig’s vehicle.
The officer performed a Field Sobriety Test at the scene, which Hannivig allegedly failed and an Alcotest at headquarters which ultimately led to Hannivig’s arrest. Police charged Hannivig with 2nd degree Endangering the welfare of a child, DWI, Open container of alcohol and Reckless driving.
The Hopatcong Ambulance Squad was called to the scene to transport the child to headquarters safely.
The child’s mother was contacted and arrived at headquarters shortly after to take custody of her child.
Police want to thank the citizen that contacted them. “The accused could have killed himself and/or this infant by driving drunk. The infant was possibly saved because of the phone call by a motorist. You are the eyes and ears of your Police Department.”
These charges are merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.