We have mentioned this more than once in this forum, but again, it bear repeating: Getting behind the wheel of an automobile is a foolhardy venture to start with, but complicating a certain drunk driving arrest with a serious traffic accident is something that will only makes a DWI defense all the more difficult. As Garden State trial attorneys experienced in drunk driving and drug DUI law, we know how thorny a drunk driving case can be when the defendant has injured or killed another individual in the process.
It doesn’t make much, if any, difference where a collision involving alcohol or drugs takes place; be it in Mercer, Union, Bergen or Atlantic County, when a motorist is facing a combination of drunken driving charges plus vehicular assault (or worse, death by auto), the job of any DWI-DUI attorney will be made that much difficult by the circumstances surrounding the collision.
Yet, in spite of common sense and public service campaigns to the contrary, dozens of people find themselves in similarly serious legal predicaments every month. Here in the Garden State, driving while intoxicated is not looked upon with any sympathy by the police, the courts or the community at large. The attitude of society for those who cause a serious injury accident, and most certainly a fatal traffic collision, often borders between contempt and hatred.
As drunk driving lawyers, my colleagues and I know that any DWI- or drug DUI-related traffic accident can result in a rather complicated defense when injuries are involved. Multi-vehicle accidents can, of course, result in serious injuries and sometimes even death. Some of the worst alcohol-related multi-car crashes involve head-on impacts that can result in extreme injuries to occupants of both vehicles.
One important point to remember is that a driver who is found to be impaired by alcohol or drugs will get little sympathy from the police, the prosecution, or the judge, even if that individual has been serious injured himself. Such is the disdain that drunk drivers are viewed with in today’s society. On that note, it is interesting to run across news stories covering certain types of DWI-related accidents.
According to one article a while back, a Toms River, NJ, driver was facing potential drunken driving charges following a head-on car crash that he allegedly caused on a stretch of Whitesville Rd. south of Jackson. Based on police reports, the 54-year-old driver was heading southbound in his 2013 Honda Civic. Witnesses reportedly told investigators that the man’s vehicle was being driven erratically and without the use of head or taillights.
At a little past 5pm, near the crossroads of Whitesville and Grawtown, the Honda veered suddenly into the oncoming lane and struck a Kia Optima head-on. Both the suspect and the other driver, a 53-year-old local man, survived the impact; however, the victim had to be extricated from his vehicle by EMS crews arriving on the scene shortly thereafter. Both drivers were taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Surprisingly, during the investigation, officers at the scene of the accident reportedly came upon evidence that indicated both drivers may have been intoxicated when the wreck took place. At the time of the news article, the crash was still under investigation and warrants had been obtained for blood to be drawn from both drivers. Possible charges were still pending as a result.
DWI Charges Pending Against Toms River Man in Head-On Crash, Patch.com, December 18, 2013