A jury trial has begun in the case of a New Jersey man who has been charged with driving while intoxicated as well as vehicular homicide. The accident that prompted these charges allegedly resulted in the death of a police officer who was not on duty at the time. The man’s attorney plans to show the jury that the driving while intoxicated accident was a tragedy but that it was not a careless act on the part of his client.

According to the prosecution, the man on trial had met some friends at a hotel bar the night of the accident. He allegedly consumed several alcoholic beverages while there and then moved on to another bar where he met more friends. At some point after leaving the second bar, he hit the back of the vehicle the off-duty police officer was driving. The officer’s car flipped after hitting the guard rail and then caught fire. A report stated the man’s blood alcohol level after the accident was almost double the legal limit of .08 percent.

The man’s attorney agrees that his client had been in bars with his friends but he says his client did not drink so much that his judgment while driving was diminished. He said he will prove during the trial that his client’s mental state was not one of recklessness. He has urged the jury to listen to both sides of the argument before making their decision.

Because a police officer died in the incident, it may be difficult for this New Jersey man to be seen by the jury as innocent until proven guilty. However, that is the responsibility of each member of the jury until they hear all the details of this driving while intoxicated and vehicular homicide case. It is possible for accused individuals to challenge the details that a prosecution presents, which can sometimes lead to reasonable doubt, thus resulting in a not guilty verdict.

Source:, “Trial starts for Manchester man accused in wreck that killed off-duty cop“, Ashley Peskoe, July 1, 2014

Tags: driving while intoxicated, legal limit