As Garden State drunk driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I know that defending those accused of an alcohol- or drug-related traffic accident can become very complicated when injuries are involved. Multi-car accidents can, of course, result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries; however, causing injury while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs intoxicated can up the ante quite a bit in the eyes of a municipal prosecutor.
For this reason alone — that is, having caused a personal injury while intoxicated by alcohol — it is advisable to locate a skilled criminal defense lawyer with expertise in litigating New Jersey drunken driving cases. A recent news story out of Bergen County details an all too common scenario involving an inebriated driver, a crash between a motor vehicle and a bicycle rider, and a badly injured victim.
According to police reports, a 62-year-old bicyclist from the New York area was sent to the emergency room after being hit by a Dodge pickup truck in the Mahwah, NJ, area. The collision took place early on a Wednesday evening along a portion of Ramapo Valley Rd. New articles indicated that Francisco Perez of Suffern, NY, was riding his bicycle in the northbound lane when a local man going the opposite way made a sudden left turn onto N. Railroad Ave.
The pickup, driven by 64-year-old Thomas Rinaldi, reportedly struck the cyclist head-on, throwing Mr. Perez off the bike and onto the pavement, striking his head on impact. The out-of-state cyclist was transported to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson, NJ, where he was listed in critical condition at the time of the news report.
According to police, Rinaldi was arrested at the crash site after officers determined that he was likely intoxicated. The man was apparently taken to the Mahwah Police Department where he submitted to toxicology testing and subsequently arraigned in municipal court. Bail was reportedly set at $25,000 pending a court hearing the next day. He subsequently released after posting 10 percent of bail amount.
Suffern man critical after crash, N.J. man charged with assault, DWI; LoHud.com; September 10, 2014