Law enforcement officials in New Jersey take drunk driving seriously and
are always on the lookout for drivers they believe to be impaired. In
some cases they look for signs of impairment through the way a driver
conducts himself on the road, and in other cases they base their findings
on various roadside and blood alcohol tests. Drivers who face drunk driving
charges often have uphill battles to climb proving their innocence and
preserving their rights.
While the penalties for all
drunk driving charges can impose burdens on those accused, when the alleged victim of
a drunk driving accident suffers the penalties tend to go up significantly.
A recent accident in Bergen County shows how both the charges brought
against a person and the penalties she could face increase when the condition
of an alleged victim deteriorates.
A 40-year-old North Bergen woman was allegedly driving down River Road
at approximately 11 p.m. when she supposedly hit a bicyclist. She was
charged with assault for allegedly causing the accident and law enforcement
believed that she was intoxicated at the time of the crash. She covered
her $15,000 bond and was released from jail.
However, shortly thereafter the alleged victim died from the injuries he
sustained in the collision. Prosecutors have modified the charges against
the woman to vehicular homicide and have increased her bond by $110,000.
She also has to return to court to confront the new charge.
While no alcohol-related charge is easy to defend, those involving death
can be particularly trying. While it is unknown if this woman has an attorney
she will need to employ a different trial strategy for the homicide charge
than she would have for an assault charge. For either of the charges a
criminal defense attorney with experience practicing DUI law could provide
her with assistance for tackling her legal woes.
Source: CBS New York, "Charges Upgraded Against Alleged Drunk Driver After NJ Victim Dies," May 12, 2014