If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: Driving while intoxicated is one thing, but causing an accident while impaired brings in a whole new set of complications when defending a charge of DWI or drug DUI. This makes complete sense, especially to those who have been arrested for causing a traffic accident while drunk behind the wheel.
As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, I and my staff are prepared to see just about anything in terms of police arrests on Garden State roadways. As experienced drunk driving attorneys, we have represented many clients accused of drunk driving in Hudson, Ocean, Essex and Monmouth County, some of who have actually been accused of causing a DWI-related auto accident.
One thing we don’t usually see is a person involved in a traffic wreck going home and then getting arrested for being drunk later in the day. It sounds hard to believe, or maybe it’s not. But according to recent news reports, this actually happened to one man from Monmouth County.
Based on news articles, a 55-year-old male resident of Matawan, NJ, was driving his vehicle along a stretch of Rte 35 on a Tuesday morning some time before 12 noon; at about 11:20am, the man reportedly got into a traffic accident near the intersection of Laurel Ave and Rte 35. Based on information provided by the Holmdel Police Department, Ronald Karol, who lives on Crest Circle, was driving his Toyota Highlander when he reportedly changed lanes while allegedly failing to yield to a GMC Sierra pickup truck riding in an adjacent lane.
The pickup driver, 58-year-old William Potter of Middletown, NJ, was apparently not injured in the crash, though it would seem that his vehicle received some amount of damage as a result of the incident. According to the Holmdel Police, Karol’s Toyota sustained a fair amount of front-end damage itself and was towed from the crash scene to a local garage apparently for repairs. Police officers arriving at the site of the accident cited Karol for careless driving.
The twist in this particular instance is that later that same day, Mr. Karol allegedly became drunk and apparently decided to attempt to retrieve some of his belongings from the damaged Highlander. In order to do that, police believe that the man got behind the wheel of a silver minivan and drove it while allegedly intoxicated to the area where his Highlander was located.
This later incident happened sometime after 6pm that evening, according to police. The officer in charge, Holmdel Patrolman Jake Savage, apparently came upon Mr. Karol in the midst of removing items from his damaged Toyota sport utility vehicle. A spokesperson for the Holmdel Police Department stated that Patrolman Savage believed was Mr. Karol was indeed operating that silver minivan while under the influence of alcohol.
Karol was arrested and taken into custody. The suspect was given a breathalyzer test (by Alcotest device), which reportedly returned a reading of 0.09 percent blood-alcohol content (BAC). This is one tenth greater than the legal limit in New Jersey. He was subsequently taken to police headquarters where he was officially charged with DWI as well as reckless driving. Meanwhile, the man’s minivan was taken to the Holmdel police impound lot.
Matawan Man Cited by Holmdel Police Twice in One Day, Patch.com, March 1, 2012