Whether one drives in Middlesex, Atlantic, Monmouth or Essex County, if you cause an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs (drug DUI) there is always a chance that you will be found guilty of intoxicated driving by a court. Raise the stakes by causing a fatal drunken driving-related traffic wreck and the consequences can be much worse.
As a former municipal prosecutor, I understand the strategies and legal approach that the state uses to convict a motorist charged with drunk driving or drug DWI. I and my staff of experienced New Jersey drunken driving defense attorneys know the procedures and techniques that the prosecution may use against a DWI defendant. An already critical situation is made that much worse when a driver is accused of drunk driving as it applied to a traffic accident involving injury or death.
It is for these reasons alone that one typically needs the counsel, if not the representation, of a qualified DWI/DUI lawyer. This is because, here in the Garden State, law enforcement and the courts have become rather strict regarding any traffic-related offenses involving the consumption of beer, wine or hard liquor, as well as doctor-prescribed medication or illicit drugs such as marijuana or cocaine.
In my work here in New Jersey, I know how serious a fatality-related drunken driving accident can be for even a first-time offender. Anytime a New Jersey motorist is put on trial for a fatal alcohol-related roadway collision, the deck can already be stacked against that man or woman, no matter what their personal history has been to that point.
We were reminded of this not long ago upon reading of a multi-vehicle collision that involved not one but two allegedly drunken drivers. Based on news reports, the crash occurred in Union County at just after 6pm on a Monday evening. As 68-year-old Patricia Currie was driving her vehicle through a Westfield Twp. intersection, her vehicle reportedly grazed a man walking in the street and knocked him down.
Stopping to offer assistance to help the pedestrian get across the street, the woman and the man were reportedly hit by another vehicle driven by an 84-year-old man in a Chevrolet Cavalier, who police believed was drunk at the time of the crash. Immediately after that impact, as Currie was lying in the roadway, a second vehicle driven by a 73-year-old man approached the victim and ran her over; she died a little while later at a local hospital.
Police arriving on the scene charged the Chevy driver with failure to yield to a pedestrian, DWI and reckless driving. The driver of the second car, a John Diaz of Westfield, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, failure to report a traffic accident, plus reckless driving.
According to news reports, the man who was initially struck while crossing the street was taken to University Hospital in Newark for treatment. At the times of the news article, investigators with the prosecutor’s office in Union County, as well as the Westfield Police Department, were continuing to look into the incident. At that time, there was no mention of whether additional charges would be filed in the case.
Two Drivers Involved In Fatal Westfield Accident Charged With DWI, NJToday.net, February 27, 2012