Causing significant personal injury or property damage as the result of a car or truck accident can sometimes result in negative ramifications (criminally and/or from a civil standpoint) for the negligent party. This is almost a given in any municipality around the Garden State. And, while causing an accident through simple negligence is one thing, being the defendant in a DWI-related legal case involving bodily injury to another person or physical damage to another individual’s property can be an entirely different thing altogether.
As New Jersey DWI lawyers, my firm is well positioned to represent motorists who have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (such as beer or wine) or doctor-prescribed drugs; or even illicit substances like marijuana and cocaine. Most people do not understand that a police officer cannot pull a vehicle over based only on a hunch that the driver has been drinking prior to getting behind the wheel. What usually happens first is the officer may notice a minor driving infraction, which then attracts his or her attention to the subject vehicle.
Of course, while observing a car or truck making an improper turn or running a stoplight can be a clear sign that something is amiss with the driver, coming upon a traffic accident is usually an obvious indication that at least one of the drivers involved made some serious error in judgment or executed a maneuver after a poor driving decision. Whatever the reason, once a driver is on the roadside — having allegedly caused a traffic accident — the officer in charge will most likely be keenly aware of everything being done or said at the scene of the accident.
At this point, being even slightly inebriated can result in a quick trip to police headquarters for a breathalyzer test and maybe formal charges. Once DWI or DUI charges are lodged against a driver, the next step — aside from contacting a qualified DWI attorney — is the pre-trial hearing.
A little while back we read of a traffic accident that likely wound up in a courtroom. The incident took place in the morning hours when the driver of a late-model Mazda passenger car left the roadway and struck the side of a nearby church in Ocean County, NJ. Based on police reports, a Lanoka Harbor driver was headed westbound along a stretch of Rte 9 when the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, which left the road and went airborne. Police stated that the vehicle, carrying the driver and one passenger, hit the Lighthouse Christian Church at the intersection of Rte 9 and Bay Way.
Both the driver and passenger were injured in the crash, and were both treated at the scene and then transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ. The 22-year-old passenger suffered head injuries as a result of the wreck. The church itself sustained what police referred to as “extensive damage.”
Several days after this Ocean County crash, another accident took place involving a brother and sister whose vehicle was hit by a Mercedes-Benz being driven by an allegedly drunk motorist. The two victims, both of whom were in their 50s and residents of from Union County, were riding in Honda at the time of the crash. Emergency responders arriving at the scene of the accident found the pair unconscious in their vehicle around 4:30am. The 50-year-old male victim suffered a partially amputated leg, while his 58-year-old sister received closed-head trauma. The 23-year-old Mercedes driver from Jersey City suffered a broken leg and was later charged with vehicular assault, DWI and reckless driving. Other charges included DWI within 1,000 feet of a school and failing to maintain his lane.
Brother and sister critically injured in Jersey City accident, cops say; NJ.com; April 29, 2012
Lighthouse Christian Worship Center Damaged in DWI-Related Accident, Patch.com, April 27, 2012