Leaving the scene of an accident is one of the many mistakes that motorists can make following an automobile wreck. As a New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney and former municipal prosecutor, I understand how certain facts can influence the decision of a drunk driving court judge. While one’s first reaction to something as traumatic as a car collision is to avoid the scrutiny of a responding police officer, the ramifications of leaving the scene of an accident can be quite severe.
Especially where alcohol is involved, police agencies and the courts have become very critical of motorists who flaunt the law to their own advantage. Recently, a Parsippany resident who was later accused of a drunk driving-related car accident allegedly fled the scene; turning a bad situation into an even worse one.
According to news reports, 48-year-old Elizabeth Stockinger was arrested around 1pm on January 29 after she apparently drove her 1993 Mercury Sable into a second vehicle on East Halsey Road. Immediately following the collision, the woman reportedly drove away in the direction of Pomeroy Road. Based on police reports, Stockinger crossed the double yellow traffic line prior to the accident while trying to make a left-hand turn.
Police say that Stockinger’s car, which had sustained heavy front-end damage, was observed by a Parsippany police officer who reported that the vehicle was traveling along Pomeroy Road shortly after the accident. In an apparent effort to evade the police officer, Stockinger drove her vehicle in reverse for a short distance, but did not get far as the street she was on is a dead end.
Police eventually caught up to the driver and she was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, refusing to submit to breath testing, having open alcohol containers in a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to yield right of way and failing to report a motor vehicle accident.
Parsippany woman accused of DWI, leaving scene of accident, NJ.com, February 2, 2010