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New Jersey man charged with drunk driving in fatal crash

A 24-year-old North Plainfield man has been charged with drunk driving after crashing his car into the back of a tractor-trailer on Oct. 19. His front-seat passenger was killed in the collision.

According to police, the man was driving a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta in a southbound outer lane of the New Jersey Turnpike around 4 a.m. when he rear-ended a semi-truck near marker 93.5 in Woodbridge. His passenger, a 25-year-old North Plainfield man, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The Middlesex County medical examiner determined he died of blunt-force injuries.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office has charged the man with driving while intoxicated and death by auto. He pleaded not guilty in a New Brunswick court hearing on Oct. 20, and he is being held on $100,000 bond.

In New Jersey, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level above .08 percent. Anyone charged with drunk driving could face severe consequences, including fines, probation, imprisonment and license revocation.

Someone who has been arrested for drunk driving may benefit from the guidance of a lawyer. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to dispute the evidence police have gathered against a defendant. For example, an attorney may determine that authorities did not have probable cause to pull over a defendant's vehicle. A lawyer could also question the results of field sobriety tests or breath tests such as a Breathalyzer or Alcotest. Depending on the specifics of the case, it may also be possible to work out a plea deal with prosecutors for a lighter sentence.

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle, "Man Pleads not guilty in deadly Turnpike crash," Oct. 22, 2014

Source: NJ.com, "Driver charged with DWI after crash kills passenger in Woodbridge", Anthony G. Attrino, October 20, 2014

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