One doesn’t necessarily need a New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney to tell you that injuring or killing another individual in an alcohol or drug-related car accident can pose some serious complications to any DWI defense case. Even so, few people truly realize how serious the consequences can be for a drunken driving-related car or truck collision that involves injury or death.
As experienced Garden State drunk driving defense attorneys, my colleagues and I take our responsibility very seriously when we assist those who have been accused of a drug or alcohol-related impaired driving charge. We also use an aggressive approach when representing our clients in these kinds of serious DWI-DUI cases. From time to time we have clients who are defendants in DWI cases that involve an injury-related drunk driving accident. Whenever situations like this crop up, we highly recommend that those accused of DWI or drug DUI consult with a skilled trial lawyer experienced in drunken driving cases.
Here in New Jersey, the potential penalties following a conviction for a drunk driving accident involving serious bodily injuries or fatalities are significantly greater than the more run-of-the-mill DWI-DUI cases that are not injury-related. It goes without saying that DWI and drug DUI offenses that are tied to a fatal car crash carry the most severe punishments. For these kinds of cases, if the defendant is found guilty of drunken driving, the result will be felony conviction and mandatory prison time.
As we have said on numerous occasions, for anyone facing DWI-DUI charges in an injury- or fatality-involved traffic wreck, there is no reason not to seek legal advice from a qualified defense lawyer. Last month, we read of a car crash allegedly involving drunken driving that led to the serious injury of a Bergen County patrolman. According to the news article, the officer suffered life-threatening injuries after his cruiser was struck by another vehicle driven by a Lodi High School math teacher.
Based on police reports and other information, the accident took place during the early morning hours on a Saturday in April when a Ford Fusion driven by the 36-year-old high school teacher who was allegedly inebriated at the time. The crash happened along a portion of westbound Rte 46 in Bergen County. At the time of the collision, the injured police officer was reportedly was on the roadside with a second officer, who was having radio problems, at a little before 2am.
Based on the news reports, the 39-year-old officer and the other policeman where parked on the shoulder of the roadway when the teacher’s vehicle apparently struck the victim’s SUV police vehicle from behind with significant force. At the moment of the crash, authorities stated that the injured officer’s vehicle had its emergency lights activated and flashing.
As a result of the collision, the officer reportedly received a severe head injury and was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center where he underwent surgery. The policeman was listed in critical condition later that day and was placed in a medically-induced coma by doctors as part of his treatment. Three weeks later, the officer’s condition was reported to be improving.
According to news reports, the accused drunk driver was helped from his vehicle by the officer who was not injured in the collision, after which the man reportedly fled the scene on foot into a nearby subdivision. Police officers eventually located the teacher, who was later arrested and charged with DWI plus a number of criminal charges, not the least of which included aggravated assault and fleeing the scene of an injury-related traffic accident. He was subsequently released on $150,000 bail pending a hearing.
Bergen County officer severely injured by alleged DWI driver shows signs of progress, NorthJersey.com, May 2, 2014
Bergen County cop fights for life after rear-ending of his cruiser, NorthJersey.com, April 19, 2014