Last Monday, a Bergen County resident was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide following a deadly crash that claimed the life of his father. Thirty-five-year old Andrew Halder had just enjoyed a round of golf with his dad before the deadly DUI accident on August 30. According to authorities, Andrew was driving his father at the time of the crash with a blood alcohol content of more than.08 percent – the legal limit in New Jersey.
While trying to merge onto Route 18 north, Andrew’s 2007 Mini Cooper hit a curb on the ramp, flipping the vehicle over. The father, Gary Halder, was ejected from the rolling vehicle and suffered severe injuries, according to prosecutors. Despite emergency treatment at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, he was later pronounced dead.
DUI Monmouth County crash kills one
Andrew Halder posted ten percent of his $100,000 bail and was released following his arrest. Police say that if the Woodcliff Lake resident is convicted of vehicular homicide, he may face up to ten years in NJ state prison. And thanks to the state’s “No Early Release Act,” Halder will likely be required to fulfill at least 85 percent of his sentence before possibility of parole.
In addition to one count of second-degree vehicular homicide, Halder was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and displaying a false inspection sticker. Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle has been assigned the case.
Alcohol-related crashes and liability
Individuals who are charged with driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence or (DWI or DUI) may face steep fines, license suspension, imprisonment and insurance surcharges – the amounts of which will depend on the number of offenses committed.
In the event that a person was killed as a result of intoxicated driving in New Jersey, a much more serious charge of vehicular homicide may be leveled.
A conviction will hinge upon circumstantial evidence which demonstrates:
- That the defendant/driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash
- That his intoxication was the direct and proximate cause of the accident and the death of the decedent
Vehicular homicide may result from other factors besides drunk driving, including:
- Driver fatigue
- Reckless driving
- Excessive speed or disregard of traffic signals
- Driving a vehicle with known mechanical failures
In New Jersey, vehicular manslaughter can result in penalties reaching $150,000 and up to 10 years of jail time. Defendants may also face a civil wrongful death lawsuit even if they are cleared of criminal homicide charges. In many cases, the outcomes of such cases will depend upon the testimony of both expert witnesses and that of crash re-constructionists as well as physical evidence.
DUI accident victims in New Jersey
For more than 25 years, Eisbrouch Marsh has been successfully handling DUI accident claims in Bergen County and throughout northern NJ. To schedule a free legal consultation, please call our offices at 201-781-1937. Our NJ car accident attorneys are here to protect your best interests and always work on a contingency basis.
- Patch.com, Bergen County Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide Following Crash http://patch.com/new-jersey/wyckoff/bergen-county-man-charged-vehicular-homicide-following-crash-0
- NJ.gov, New Jersey Laws and Penalties DUI http://www.nj.gov/oag/hts/downloads/dui-bro-eng.pdf