If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times; a drunk driving defense is only complicated when the DWI arrest is associated with a traffic accident. It makes little difference whether one lives in Bergen, Middlesex, Mercer or Atlantic County, when you throw in an injury or fatality along with a drunken driving accident the job of the DWI defense attorney is made that much more difficult.
Still, despite our suggestions to avoid driving while intoxicated, dozens of motorists every week are arrested here in the Garden State for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or prescription medication (drug DUI); some of the individuals also become involved in what can only be termed DWI-related traffic accidents; some of which are fatal crashes, while others may entail only minor injuries.
Of course, as stated previously, killing another individual while allegedly under the influence of beer, wine or hard liquor is not a situation anyone wishes to be in. But it does happen, and with greater frequency than many people might guess. Not long ago, a Brick Twp. employee was charged with driving while intoxicated when he allegedly caused a traffic accident that left a teenager dead.
Based on news reports, 53-year-old Patrick Doyle of Ocean County was reportedly headed south along a stretch of Jordan Rd. when he attempted to pass a second vehicle on the two-lane road just after 10pm in the evening. In the process of the maneuver, police reports indicated that Doyle’s vehicle entered the northbound lane, at which point the man’s car allegedly struck the youngster who was on his skateboard near the shoulder of the roadway.
Doyle stopped his vehicle at the scene of the crash, which occurred between Algonquin Trail and Duchess Ln. Nineteen-year-old Anthony Briffa of Brick Twp., NJ, died from his injuries suffered at the time of the accident. Police arriving on the scene determined that Doyle was driving a vehicle that was not registered with the state of New Jersey, they also apparently suspected the man of driving while intoxicated and took him into custody.
The boy’s mother reportedly told police that her son had gone out that evening to have coffee with some of his friends. Sadly, that parent had repportedly insisted that the boys travel on their skate boards rather than drive in a car. It’s hard to say whether the young man would have survived the crash if he had been riding in a passenger car instead of on his skateboard, however it likely would have mitigated to some extent the seriousness of his injuries.
In the aftermath of the fatal and possibly alcohol-related traffic accident, Doyle resigned his position with the township. Due to the suspect’s former affiliation with the township, the ongoing investigation was being handled by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. At the time of the news article, Doyle had been charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, making an unsafe lane change and driving an unregistered motor vehicle, according to sources at the county’s prosecutor’s office.
Brick employee charged with DWI, reckless driving in crash that left township teen dead, APP.com, June 14, 2011