Ocean County, NJ, Motorist Connected with Fatal Drunken Driving Pedestrian Crash Remains Uncharged

Whether one lives in Sussex, Bergen, Atlantic or Middlesex County, make no mistake: state and municipal police agencies across the Garden State take a dim view of motorists who get behind the wheel while under the influence of beer, wine or hard liquor. This goes as much for alcohol as it does for prescription medication and doubly so for those who take illicit drugs and then drive on public roads.

Frankly, as New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, we know that our state’s judicial system can be quite strict when it comes to drinking and driving. State laws and legal statutes specify heavy penalties for those individuals convicted of drunken driving and drug DUI; in fact, aside from monetary penalties, there is a good chance that depending on the circumstances a driver can lose his or her license for a period of time following a drunk driving conviction.

With the costs of losing a DWI or DUI case, plus the potential of having ones driver’s license suspended — which can complicate a person’s employment situation as well as their private life — look for the advice of an experienced drunk driving defense attorney is many times a good course of action. With the frequency of organized anti-DWI/DUI enforcement efforts (such as New Jersey’s “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” campaign), dozens upon dozens of motorists find themselves charged with a variety of drunk-driving-related offenses during these amplified enforcement endeavors.

Now, being arrested for drunk driving is one thing, but being charged with DWI AND being accused of causing a traffic accident while intoxicated is not an enviable position. By extension, being charged with causing an injury or fatal car or truck accident while impaired due to alcohol, doctor-prescribed medication or illegal substances (also known as controlled dangerous substances or CDS), such as marijuana and cocaine; these are serious complications that makes it almost imperative that one speak to a lawyer before entering any kind of a plea in court.

An instance not unlike those described above took place last year, which pretty much calls for the assistance of a qualified DWI defense attorney. According to news reports, 54-year-old Patrick Doyle, a resident of Brick, NJ, was accused of driving under the influence at the time of a fatal pedestrian accident back in May 2011. New reports indicate that even as late as last month, the man had yet to be indicted on an any criminal charges in connection with the death of then 19-year-old Anthony Briffa; and no hearing concerning Doyle’s DWI arrest had yet taken place, all due to worries of potential double jeopardy issues on the prosecution’s part.

As for the original incident, according to police the fatal crash occurred a little after 10pm on May 11, 2011, as Doyle was driving southbound along Jordan Road. As the driver was apparenlty executing a passing maneuver around a second vehicle, his car reportedly entered the northbound lane and allegedly struck Briffa as the teen was riding on his skateboard near the northbound shoulder.

Based on news reports at the time, Doyle stopped his vehicle at the scene of the crash, however police determined that the driver may have been operating his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Also, authorities have stated that Doyle’s vehicle was not registered with in New Jersey.

As a result of the fatal crash, Doyle reportedly left his position with Brick Township and authority over the case was transferred to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Still an open case at the time of the latest news article, Doyle was reportedly facing an array of charges, including reckless driving, making an unsafe lane change, DWI, and operating an unregistered motor vehicle.

For Family of Brick Teen Killed in Accident, Questions Remain; Patch.com, January 10, 2012