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Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in the state of New Jersey. Motorists arrested for driving while intoxicated in New Jersey face a number of serious penalties from driver's license suspension to possible jail time. For these reasons, it is important that those accused of DWI put together a solid defense strategy to counter the charges against them.

A 22-year-old New Jersey man is currently in custody following an alleged drunk driving accident that left a 28-year-old New Jersey woman in serious condition late last week. According to authorities the accident happened when the man swerved off of the street in his 2006 Lexus Sedan and onto a sidewalk where he ran into the woman. The driver also reportedly cashed into a light post, tree and utility pole.

The woman was taken to the University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey where she is still being treated for critical injuries. According to Bergen County Prosecutors, the accident took place on a sidewalk near St. Mary's High School in East Rutherford at around 8:00 in the evening. The 22-year-old driver is facing charges for aggravated assault by auto, DWI, DWI within 1,000 feet of a school as well as other violations.

Assault by auto occurs when a motorist injures another person in a car accident while operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol or simply driving in a reckless manner. While the exact charges and penalties depend on a variety of factors, an individual convicted of injuring another person in an auto accident while intoxicated within 1,000 feet of school property is guilty of a second-degree felony drunk driving offense.

While no DWI charges should be taken lightly, drivers facing a DWI charge after an auto accident that resulted in an injury or death may want consult with an experienced defense attorney to discuss their rights. Doing so may result in the charges being reduced or even dropped entirely.

Source: NBC New York, "Drunk Driver, 22, Hit Woman Standing on New Jersey Sidewalk: Officials," Aug. 23, 2012

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