Police Say New Jersey Man was Drunk when He Hit Seven Pedestrians in Big Apple

As a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer, my firm has defended many people accused of being drunk at the time of an accident. When injuries or fatalities are involved, the local police take a dim view of anyone with the mere appearance of intoxication, much less full blown drunkenness. A recent news story about a Hudson County resident illustrates how serious a drunk driving charge can be when coupled with injured victims. To make things worse for this New Jersey man, he was out of state when the incident occurred.

According to news stories, 43-year-old Ediberto Viana of North Bergen Township, NJ, lost control of his sport utility vehicle in Manhattan and drove onto the sidewalk bordering Bergenline Avenue and 57th Street on July 19. The vehicle hit a total of seven pedestrians, one of which was pinned under the vehicle until emergency crews could remove the injured from the scene.

Those hurt in the accident ranged in age from 13 to 65 years old. The most seriously injured person, a 44-year-old man, was taken to Jersey City Medical Center with compound fractures of the leg, officials said. The other victims reportedly included two sisters (13 and 15 years old), a 16-year-old girl, a 63-year-old man and a 65-year-old man and another victim of unknown age.

Police arriving at the scene determined that Viana was intoxicated at the time. According to reports, the man’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was measured at 0.22 percent, nearly three times the legal limit (0.08) in New Jersey and other states. Because of this, Viana was charged with DWI, as well as seven counts of assault by auto. Because of the extent of the injuries caused by Viana, the court set bail at $150,000, cash only, at the request fo the prosecutor’s office. Charges could be upgraded depending on how the critically-injured victim fares in the hospital.

At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we specialize in drunk driving defense. All of our lawyers are fully trained and certified in the operation and maintenance of the Alcotest breath testing device, as used by New Jersey law enforcement agencies. We represent New Jersey residents charged with drunk driving, drug DUI and breath test refusal. We also handle out-of-state clients who receive summonses as a result of drunk driving arrests here in New Jersey. You can contact us 24/7 for a free, no obligation consultation.

Sidewalk Shocker, NJ.com, July 21, 2009