A 31-year-old man was sentenced to seven years in prison after a 2013 motor vehicle accident that killed an 80-year-old Brick woman. The Point Pleasant man was convicted for impaired driving before this vehicular homicide conviction. His previous conviction was for driving while under the influence of alcohol, and he had an ignition interlock device in his car, which prevents a vehicle from moving if a driver has consumed alcohol.
In the 2013 accident, the sentencing report said that the man hit the woman’s vehicle head-on and that six different drugs were in his system. The man was under the influence of amphetamines, morphine, heroin, a prescription painkiller and anti-anxiety medication. During the plea hearing, the man acknowledged that he acted recklessly by driving while impaired by drugs though he could not remember the accident. However, the judge commented the man did not change his behavior, as he had pleaded guilty to a marijuana offense committed after the accident.
The man must serve more than five years of his seven-year prison term before being considered for parole. In addition to the prison sentence, the man received a $500 fine and must perform 30 days of community service. He faces a license suspension after his release from prison, and an interlock ignition device must be on his vehicle for three years.
While this story involves drug use, it shows how severe the penalties can be when driving while impaired. One faces more serious charges for drug or alcohol related crimes when an accident causes someone else bodily harm or property damage and when one has previous convictions. However, one is always allowed to seek legal counsel and mount a defense when accused of drug or DUI charges.