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Dunkin' Donuts plus alleged drunk driving leads to danger

On Aug. 13, a group of patrons at a New Jersey Dunkin' Donuts got more than the sweet treats and coffee that they thought they were in for. Their trip to the Jersey City Heights donut shop was interrupted by a crash through the walls of the place.

Eight people were injured in the traffic incident. Authorities arrived at the scene and determined that there was enough evidence to arrest the driver of an SUV for the suspicion of drunk driving. The 55-year-old defendant faces more traffic violation charges besides DWI.

The Jersey Journal reports that the driver appeared in court yesterday to officially face the criminal charges before him. He is charged with aggravated assault by auto, theft and DWI. This isn't the defendant's first time facing the threat that drunk driving has on his freedom. He has two other DWI convictions on his record.

The criminal justice system treats repeat DWI convictions as a serious threat to society. Sentencing, therefore, becomes more severe with multiple offenses. Repeat violations also can highlight a more personal health problem. In this case, for example, the defendant has confessed, "I'm sick, I'm sick. I need help," suggesting that suffers from alcohol addiction. Though these comments might be emotionally impactful, any DWI suspect should avoid talking before working with his defense lawyer.

Addiction doesn't necessarily sway a court to go easy on a defendant. No matter what the reason might be behind a supposed drunk driving incident, aggressive representation is the best chance at getting the best possible outcome. For many, that outcome could be the dismissal of all charges. For others, it could mean a plea deal with relatively lenient sentencing, possibly involving alcohol treatment.

Source: The Jersey Journal, "Jersey City man hears charges in Dunkin' Donuts crash that hurt eight people," Daniel Reyes, Jan. 15, 2013

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