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Driver charged with DWI after crash leaves hundreds without power

News sources in New Jersey report that alcohol is believed to be a factor in an accident that left more than 640 Washington Borough residents without power for approximately eight hours on Jan. 24. According to Washington Township Police, speed and icy travel conditions also contributed to the wreck that occurred at 7:45 a.m. Sources indicate that the incident involved a single car and driver and that no injuries were reported following the crash.

The accident happened on Route 57 between North Prospect Street and Brass Castle Road when an alleged drunk driver collided with a utility pole near an auto body and towing business. This section of the road remained closed until late afternoon while Jersey Central Power and Light crews worked to clear down wires and transformers. The road was reopened and power was restored to most residents at 3:55 p.m.

The 45-year-old driver who allegedly caused the crash is now facing charges of careless driving and driving while intoxicated. Police indicate that following the incident, the charged woman's blood alcohol content level was .19 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit for driving in New Jersey. There are few additional details available about this case as of press time.

Intoxicated driving is a serious matter in this state, and a conviction can have long-lasting repercussions, including loss of driving privileges, inflated insurance rates and the requirement that an ignition interlock device in be installed in the convicted individual's vehicle. In cases like the one discussed here, it is possible that a driver could be found liable for property damage and face a civil claim in addition to the criminal drunk driving charges.

Drivers in Bergen County who find themselves charged with DWI under similar circumstances may find it beneficial to seek advice from a skilled attorney. The attorney could review the facts of the case and identify deficiencies that could potentially lead to a reduction or dismissal of the charges.

Source:, "Drunk driver caused Saturday's power outage in Washington, police say," Emily Cummins, Jan. 26, 2015