When they are socializing with friends, drivers may not pay attention to how much alcohol they have actually consumed. Later it can be very easy to underestimate how impaired their concentration is. Drinking and driving can have many consequences, and the circumstances of a drunk driving accident affect the outcome for the driver. The police deal with hundreds of such accidents every year but like anyone else they, too, sometimes make serious errors of judgment, as one police officer from Alpine, New Jersey, reportedly found out to his cost.
The accident occurred in the early hours of a recent Thursday morning, when the off-duty police officer was in his own personal vehicle. He is reported to have struck a young male pedestrian, who was taken to hospital with serious injuries. The details of those injuries are not known, however he was reported to be in a stable condition on Friday night. The police officer has been charged with driving while intoxicated, and additional charges may be pending following an investigation into the incident.
Although DWI is classed as a traffic offense rather than a criminal one, the consequences are still serious. Traffic offenses are not subject to the statutes which allow offenses to be expunged, and although a DWI should not show up on a criminal background check, they will show up on the driver's abstract with the New Jersey DMV. The penalties increase steeply for second and third offenses, even if they occur many years apart. Drivers should keep in mind that the repercussions from a drunk driving accident may also extend beyond the possibility of fines and suspension of their license.
If a driver is dependent on driving as part of their livelihood, a drunk driving accident could cause them to lose their job. When the injured man is eventually released from hospital, he may decide to pursue a claim against the police officer for financial recompense. If successful, he may receive a sum which covers the costs of hospital bills and convalescence. Nothing can make up for the pain and suffering experienced, but it may bring a sense of justice and allow the injured party to move forward.
Source: NorthJersey.com, Off-duty Alpine police officer charged with DWI in Linden crash, Abbott Koloff, Dec. 20, 2013