People drink for all sorts of reasons, many times because they are unhappy with life or feel that they are in a situation from which there is no escape. As a New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyer, I know that many people accused of DWI are not necessarily thinking clearly, and not just because of the physical affects of alcohol. A recent news article brought this home when I read that a woman from Middlesex County had tried to kill herself in Bridgewater Township.
According to police reports, Kathleen Hoffman, a resident of South Plainfield, was sitting in her Chevrolet Corvette at a scenic overlook near Route 78 in the early afternoon last Tuesday. Apparently distraught, the 55-year-old then crashed her sports car though a wood barrier, through a metal fence and down a steep wooded embankment, causing the car to roll several times before coming to rest at the bottom.
By the time rescuers arrived at the scene, she was trapped but still alive. Emergency workers had to cut her out of the vehicle, after which she was airlifted to nearby Morris Memorial Hospital where she was treated for moderate injuries. Thankfully, nobody else was injured in the incident, although it did tie up traffic on Route 78 for quite sometime.
Police reportedly charged the woman not only with attempted suicide, but also with drunk driving. Considering her act of apparent desperation, this lady likely needs some intensive counseling as well as an experienced DWI attorney. My office has handled numerous cases where an individual was charged with drunk driving, but did so as a result of difficult life circumstances. Nobody can excuse a person for putting others at risk, but as this story shows, there may be a deeper reason for a person’s actions that should at least be considered in the overall picture.
South Plainfield woman accused of DWI in Bridgewater crash, NJ.com, July 8, 2009