In July of 2012, an accident occurred in Kinnelon, New Jersey, just after midnight as a Clifton teenager was driving south on Route 23 in a 2008 Dodge. He lost control of the vehicle near the Smoke Rise turnaround, slid sideways across a grass median, crashed into the guard rail and turned over, police say.
One of the passengers, a 15-year-old at the time of the accident, suffered the most serious injury from the accident involving a traumatic brain injury. Although the young man remains in physical therapy, he is said to be making progress, according to a local prosecutor. The young man is ‘doing really well,” she said.
Appearing before the court, the judge noted that the accused’s blood-alcohol content was 0.11 percent, which is above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, that this was the accused’s first offense and that he was 18 on the date of the accident. Pleading guilty to three counts of assault by auto and to driving while intoxicated in the Superior Court in Morristown, the driver conceded that three of his passengers were injured and admitted he drank six beers before taking the wheel. Furthermore, he stated that he was speeding and driving recklessly. Under the plea agreement, two additional charges of assault by auto were dismissed. The accused driver will not go to prison but he will be placed on probation and performance of community service will be required. He turned in his driver’s license.
Unfortunately it is not uncommon for teenagers to combine underage drinking and driving, often resulting in a DUI charge or an accident or both. A DUI charge is a very serious criminal matter that may require the assistance of an attorney to resolve either with a trial or to reach a plea agreement out of court.