The night before Thanksgiving is notorious for festivities at which alcohol flows freely. As a result, it has also become a night known for DWI checkpoints in New Jersey, with numerous stops set up throughout the state to patrol for drunk drivers.
This year, a DWI checkpoint in Union Township NJ will have particular significance, as it is the location where, just six weeks ago, a New York City firefighter was killed in an accident by an allegedly drunk driver.
The DWI stop in Union Township NJ will memorialize NYC firefighter John Monteverde, who was killed while riding his motorcycle on North Avenue after being hit by Anthony Marsal.
According to authorities, a few hours after the accident, a test of Mr. Marsal’s blood showed that his blood alcohol level was 0.189 percent. In New Jersey, a person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more is considered legally intoxicated. Union police believe that Mr. Marsal’s blood alcohol content may have been as high as 0.23 when the accident actually occurred.
Mr. Marsal is currently facing charges for vehicular homicide and drunk driving (DWI).
While authorities have alleged that Mr. Marsal was legally intoxicated at the time of the crash, prosecutors will have the burden to prove that Mr. Marsal was, in fact, intoxicated when he hit Mr. Monteverde. In court, estimations of Mr. Marsal’s blood alcohol level will not suffice as evidence to prove such an allegation. Beyond that, toxicology results produced hours after the accident may leave room for defense attorneys to question the validity of such tests.
The Union Police Department announced the location of its planned DWI checkpoint, which will be on Morris Avenue, slightly east of Route 22. Officials will conduct stops at the checkpoint from 11:00 PM on the night of November 27 through 4:00 AM on November 28.
Additionally, officials recently announced a new initiative aimed at preventing “buzzed driving” in New Jersey. The premise behind this program is that any amount of alcohol can affect a driver’s reaction time and increase the likelihood of a fatal accident.
For more information about the planned DWI stop, access the NJ.com article entitled “Union Police Plan Pre-Thanksgiving DUI Checkpoint in Memory of FDNY Firefighter.“