If one was looking for a worst-case scenario when it comes to a drunk driving arrest, look no further than the pages of local and state news outlets for traffic collisions involving accused drunken drivers. It’s one thing to be arrested for DWI or following a routine traffic stop for a minor driving infraction or defective vehicle equipment; but, it’s another situation altogether when a motorist is arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs.
As New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers,I and my staff of highly qualified criminal attorneys have decades of combined experience. I, myself, worked on the other side of the aisle as a municipal prosecutor for years, which gives me a unique perspective on how the State views drunk driving defendants and the strategies used to attain convictions against accused DWI violators.
One thing that is certain: when a traffic accident occurs and the police believe that the driver who caused the crash may have been drunk or otherwise impaired by alcohol or other substances — such as prescription meds or illicit drugs like cocaine or — the consequences for that act can rise accordingly.
Take any number of accidents we read about on a daily and weekly basis. The following are just a couple examples of the kinds of drunk driving-related traffic incidents that can find their way into New Jersey courtrooms every month. With the penalties for a DWI conviction a stiff as they are, any effort to avoid being accused of drunk driving in the first place is a good first step.
Two Die in DWI-related Hudson County Crash
A 34-year-old man from Jersey City was charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter following a chain-reaction car crash in mid-January. The accused motorist was also charged with driving under the influence, according to a news item published in The Star-Ledger.
According to reports, police responded to an accident during a Wednesday evening. Based on information provided to news outlets, Jersey City resident, Herman Chandler, was behind the wheel of a truck when it smashed into a taxi cab carrying 44-year-old James Fuller also of Jersey City.
The crash threw the cab up onto a nearby sidewalk, striking a pedestrian and causing the cab to burst into flames. Both Fuller and the person on the sidewalk died as a result of the crash. According to reports, the cabbie was injured but is expected to recover. Hudson County police charged Chandler with death by auto as well as DWI.
Toms River Man Charged with DWI following Rollover Crash in Jackson
A late Monday afternoon Ocean County traffic accident resulting in an overturned pickup truck resulted in a 52-year-old driver being arrested and charged with numerous traffic offenses including driving while intoxicated. According to news articles, the crash happened when a Mazda driven by Diana Graff, hit a Dodge Ram pickup along a stretch of West Veteran’s Highway. The impact caused the truck to spin out of control and go off the roadway where it eventually overturned and ended up on its roof.
Based on police reports, none of the occupants were actually injured, however Graff was arrested by police and taken into custody. During the ensuing police investigation, the Toms River resident was determined to be intoxicated and was charged with DWI, as well as reckless driving and failure to yield to another vehicle. The woman was processed and subsequently released pending an appearance in court.
Toms River Man Arrested in Jackson for DWI in Overturned Vehicle Crash, TomsRiverNJOnline.com, January 24, 2012
2 Killed in NJ; Man Charged With DWI, Death by Auto, NBCNewYork.com, January 19, 2012