As New Jersey DWI defense lawyer who defends clients arrested for drunk driving, I can easily say that being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or prescription drugs in connection with a minor traffic violation is nowhere near as serious as being arrested for an injury accident or fatal alcohol- or drug-related crash.
The state of New Jersey takes a dim view of intoxicated driving, which is why the penalties and fines associated with DWI and DUI convictions can be rather severe. Add an injury or death as a result of a drunken driving accident and the outcome of a drunk driving trial could mean a very long prison sentence.
Not long ago a jury heard the initial statement from a defendant regarding a July 2008 fatal drug-related DUI crash that left a motorcycle rider dead following a head-on wreck along Route 47. According to reports, the accident occurred on a summer afternoon when Nicholas Golden slammed into the biker as the two vehicles approached each other.
The rider, 20-year-old Craig Lozier was unable, according to Middle Township police, to avoid the oncoming car driven by Golden, an 18-year-old out-of-state resident. Based on police information, Golden and his passenger, 18-year-old Kyle Zalot were traveling southbound along Route 47 when they attempted to pass some other vehicles. It was at this time that the accident happened. Lozier was pronounced dead at the scene.
Four hours after the fatal crash, Golden was interviewed by a detective with the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office. News reports state that the defendant initially told investigators that Lozier had entered his lane, but he later admitted he was in Lozier’s lane.
Police allege that Golden and Zalot had been smoking marijuana prior to the incident. Because of this, Golden was charged with driving while intoxicated, as well as one count of death by auto, a first-degree crime. He was also charged with other motor vehicle violations. Golden’s next court date is scheduled for March 11.
Jury Will Hear Defendant’s Initial Statement after Lozier Fatal Crash, CapeMayCountyHerald.com, Februrary 10, 2010