New Jersey Police Officer Involved in Deadly Wrong Way Crash Had Prior DUI Arrests

Last week, two men were killed in a crash involving Pedro Abad Jr., a six-year veteran police officer with the Linden Police Department in New Jersey. Abad was allegedly driving the wrong way on the West Shore Expressway in Staten Island when he caused an accident that left Frank Viggiano, a Linden police officer, and civilian Joseph Rodriguez dead. Another fellow officer was also critically injured in the accident. There was no mention as to whether Abad was under the influence of alcohol at the time the crash occurred, although he did have two DUI arrests since 2011, according to an ABC News report.

The two men killed in the crash, which involved Abad hitting a tractor-trailer rig head-on, were passengers in Abad’s Honda. The men had been at a strip club in Staten Island prior to the crash; investigators were continuing to probe whether Abad had been drinking alcohol at the club prior to the deadly crash.

In 2011, Abad was arrested on DUI charges after crashing through the wall of a supermarket in Roselle. Just over a year later, he was again charged with DUI after he failed to pass a field sobriety test in Rahway. His driver’s license was suspended for approximately 8 months beginning in October of 2013, and his vehicle fitted with an ignition interlock device, which was removed in September of 2014. Linden police refused to comment regarding whether Abad had faced restrictions or sanctions as a result of his prior DUI arrests under department guidelines.

Driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense in all states, including Michigan. In the state of Michigan, when someone dies as the result of driving under the influence, the criminal penalties if convicted are extremely harsh. The maximum prison term for someone convicted of OUIL causing death or manslaughter in the state is 15 years. However, it is important to note that in situations where someone loses his or her life, prosecutors may also decide to bring murder charges against the defendant.

Regardless of whether anyone was injured or killed in an accident involving DUI, or whether an accident even occurred at all, it is vital to consult with an experienced Michigan DUI attorney immediately. Even if you were pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you could be facing jail time, driver’s license suspension, steep fines, community service, probation, and more if found guilty. Protect your legal rights and freedom by working with a skilled defense lawyer from the very beginning.

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