When it comes to car-pedestrian accidents, the person on foot rarely has a chance. Add alcohol consumption into the mix and that’s a potentially deadly combination. The trial of a Jersey City police officer who was arrested for the drunk driving death of a pedestrian has recently come to its completion. According to news reports, the off-duty officer faces up to 10 years in prison for killing a pedestrian in an out-of-state DWI crash.
As a New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney, I have been on both sides of the aisle in cases similar to this one. An arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol, breath test refusal or prescription drug DUI is already a serious situation that calls for the assistance of a qualified drunk driving lawyer. In cases involving a fatality, whether pedestrian or another driver, an experienced DWI attorney is a necessity.
Based on news articles, the incident that led to the arrest occurred in Manhattan back in Early 2009. At that time, the former officer, Martin Abreu reportedly had a blood-alcohol content of 0.124 percent when he struck and killed 26-year-old Huang “Marilyn” Feng. Based on reports, Abreu’s police partner was riding in the car with him at the time of the collision.
Court records show that Abreu’s car struck Feng and her boyfriend as they were walking home just before 4am after an evening of dancing. When police and emergency personnel arrived at the scene, the obviously intoxicated Abreu was still behind the wheel of his 2007 Camry with the engine running. The driver admitted to responding officers that he had hit Feng.
The arresting officers described the suspect as having watery eyes, slurred speech, with the smell of alcohol on his breath and a bottle of liquor in the car. Initially, Abreu reportedly refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test, however he did eventually agree to take the test and blew a 0.124 percent reading.
Abreu, who had been with the Jersey City Police Department since 2005, was charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of aggravated vehicular assault, two counts of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, two counts of vehicular assault in the second degree, and two counts of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
According to news reports, Abreu will be eligible for parole in 3 1/2 years, while his maximum sentence can be as much as 10 1/2 years.
Jersey City cop gets prison for fatal drunken driving accident, NJ,com, February 24, 2010
Fatal ‘DWI’ cop’s partner saw it all, NJ.com, February 10, 2009