No Criminal Trial for Former Municipal Employee Who Struck New Jersey Teenager While Allegedly Drunk

Defending motorists accused of DWI in the Garden State is one job best left to skilled legal professionals who are well-versed in New Jersey’s drunken driving laws and statutes. And, for anyone who wonders how best to beat a drunk driving summons in Jersey, the short answer would have to be not to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle if you’ve had anything to drink. Sage advice, considering the total number of police arrests for operating a car or truck while under the influence of alcohol.

With dozens upon dozens of DWI summonses issued every week, it’s a fair bet that a percentage of those may not hold water in court. As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, I and my colleagues have literally decades of courtroom experience when it comes to defending drivers against charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or impaired driving as a result of prescription drug use (drug DUI). Our office also handles drivers and other individuals who have been arrested for marijuana possession or use in a car.

While it’s sometimes very easy to be caught unaware by a police officer who may see a motorist driving in an erratic fashion, more trouble could be around the corner if one couples drinking and driving with some kind of traffic accident. Add to any accident possible property damage or personal injury, much less a fatality, and one’s drunk driving defense becomes that much more complicated. All the more reason to consult with a qualified DWI defense lawyer.

A recent news story brought this topic to the fore as we read of a New Jersey man who was spared criminal charges in connection with the alleged DWI death of a teenager from Brink, NJ. According to news items, 54-year-old Patrick Doyle reportedly hit a teenage boy back in 2011 while the youth was riding his skateboard in the local area.

Based on news reports at the time, 19-year-old Anthony Briffa was riding his skateboard along a stretch of Jordan Rd. when he was struck by a motor vehicle that was apparently attempting to pass another vehicle on the road. The accident, which occurred a little after 10pm on a Wednesday evening in May 2011, left the Ocean County College student dead less than a half hour later.

More than a year later, reports indicate that Doyle, who had been under police investigation, would not be facing criminal-related charges in the death of the young man. Based on more recent news articles, the victim’s sister told reporters that a grand jury assigned to the case had declined to indict the defendant for any criminal wrongdoing. This information did not come from the Ocean County prosecutor, whose office would not officially comment on any activities related to the grand jury in this case.

Instead, the county’s executive assistant prosecutor advised news outlets that there were “no indictable charges” pending against Mr. Doyle, who would still be facing charges of DWI in a Brick municipal courtroom. The reason it has taken so long to have this case come to trial is due to the danger of double jeopardy, which prosecutors wanted to avoid as early as January of this year. At that time, the Ocean County prosecutor’s office had stated that the Doyle drunken driving case had not yet come before a judge because of potential issues involving double jeopardy should criminal charges be filed against the defendant.

No Criminal Charges for Former Brick Employee Who Struck Teen, Patch.com, July 16, 2012
Brick teenager riding skateboard is fatally struck by vehicle, NJ.com, May 13, 2011