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Mansfield man faces DUI charges

A local Mansfield Township driver has been arrested after a head-on collision in Hackettstown earlier this month, according to authorities. The man, age 28, reportedly was drunk when the collision occurred. He faces DUI charges in connection with the car accident.

The man reportedly struck the other car on Route 57 while attempting to make a turn. He struck a truck that was stopped in a left-hand turn lane, and the impact was so great that it propelled the vehicle into another car. The alleged drunk driver was carrying a passenger in his vehicle, and that 25-year-old man was taken to medical facilities after being found unconscious at the scene.

Police officers say they found at least one open bottle of alcohol in the man's vehicle. The accused driver refused to take breath tests to determine his blood alcohol content. Media reports have not indicated whether a warrant was issued for a blood test at the station after the man's arrest.

The driver faces charges including refusal to submit to a breath test, reckless driving, failing to maintain lane position and driving while intoxicated. It appears that the man was also driving without a license and without insurance, according to reports.

In this case, the man's attorneys may advise him to simply plead guilty to the charges instead of attempting to fight them at a jury trial. Considering the large amount of evidence amassed against the driver, it is unlikely that he would be acquitted during a criminal trial. Instead, by pleading guilty, the man could avoid jail time altogether, especially if this was his first offense. The seriousness and number of charges he faces could send him into custody for some time unless he chooses to strike a plea bargain with area prosecutors.

Media reports have not disclosed whether civil action will be pending against the driver, though the alleged victims could file claims for property damage and medical problems resulting from the crash.

Source: Hackettstown Patch, "Man was drunk in head-on collision, cops say," Jason Koestenblatt, Nov. 12, 2012

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