Multiple drunk driving arrests, not to mention numerous DWI convictions can prove to be quite damaging to one’s driving record, much less an individual’s personal relationships, business career and standing in the community. Here in Monmouth County, just like in Ocean, Sussex and Bergen Counties, a driver who causes an accident while under the influence of alcohol faces a difficult uphill battle in the state’s legal system.
As a New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyer, I understand how a traffic accident complicates a driver’s DWI or drug DUI defense case. In situations where a death is also involved, the courts have little empathy for a defendant who is found to have gotten behind the wheel of his or her automobile in an impaired or drunken state.
A DWI-related traffic fatality is a much more serious issue than is a simple case of being stopped for a minor traffic violation. To say the least, a person in such a situation should definitely consult with a qualified legal professional. A circumstance that might call for an experienced DWI attorney was recently reported in the news.
According to reports, charges of driving under the influence levied against a Union Township resident were escalated to that of vehicular homicide in the case of a fatal accident along Interstate 78 last year in Somerset County. Based on news reports, a five-month police investigation resulted in serious charges being pressed against 38-year-old Amie Marroccelli in connection with a deadly car crash in Warren, NJ, last October 10.
Based on police reports at the time, Marroccelli was driving a BMW east along a stretch of I-78 just before 8pm when the woman’s vehicle hit the driver’s side door of a Subaru being operated by 22-year-old Steven Wall, who was also headed east. The impact between the two vehicles caused Wall’s vehicle to spin then leave the roadway and, sliding down an embankment, striking a tree. Wall eventually died from injuries he sustained in the crash that evening.
The police investigation report, handled by the New Jersey State Police, showed that troopers arriving on the scene detected the odor of alcohol on Marroccelli’s breath. She was subsequently arrested for driving drunk after a blood test showed she was legally intoxicated.
A driver who witnessed the accident that evening had told investigators that he saw a BMW drive past his vehicle in the left lane then swerve into the center lane and strike the Subaru. Police believe that the defendant’s car was traveling about 80mph in a 65 zone at the time it struck the victim’s vehicle. According to court records, Marroccelli turned herself in to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office after which she posted the $50,000 bail set by a superior court judge for the county.
DWI charges upgraded to vehicular homicide for I-78 crash in Warren, NJ.com, March 30, 2011