Lodi High School Teacher Sentenced to Prison for DWI Crash
Lodi Man Gets Four Years in Prison for Causing DUI Accident That Injured Police Officer
A man who teaches at Lodi High School has been sentenced to four years in prison for causing a DWI accident that critically injured a Bergen County cop. The defendant in the DWI case, 40-year-old Michael Ettz, worked as a teacher and served as the track coach at Lodi High School. At approximately 2:00 a.m. on April 19, 2014, Ettz was driving his Ford Fusion on Route 46 in Lodi, New Jersey when he crashed into the back of a police patrol vehicle parked on the shoulder of the roadway. The police officer, Daniel Breslin, suffered serious injuries that included a fractured skull and broken ribs. Since being injured in the drunk driving accident, he has not been able to return to his job with the Bergen County Police Department.
A blood sample was drawn from Ettz at the hospital and indicated that he had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .215 percent, more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent BAC in NJ. (This was Ettz’s second DWI offense: he was previously convicted of drunk driving in Clifton, New Jersey in 2012.) As a result of the blood test, Ettz was placed under arrest.
Plea Agreement in Lodi Drunk Driving Case: Defendant Pleads Guilty to Assault by Auto
Prosecutors charged Ettz with a traffic offense for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and a criminal offense for assault by auto. A DWI charge can potentially result in prison time – especially if the DWI offense involves an accident resulting in serious bodily injury to another person – and a criminal charge for assault by auto carries likely prison time if the offender is convicted at trial. However, in this case, Ettz avoided trial in Bergen County Superior Court by reaching a plea agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. Bergen County prosecutors agreed to recommend that Ettz be sentenced to less than the maximum number of years on the assault by auto charge.
Now Ettz has been sentenced for causing the DWI accident. He recently appeared in Bergen County Superior Court for his official sentencing hearing. At the hearing, Bergen County Superior Court Judge Christopher Kazlau sentenced Ettz to four years in New Jersey State Prison, with Ettz required to serve a minimum of 10 months before he becomes eligible for release on parole. The fact that Ettz might not serve a full year behind bars for seriously injuring the police officer was met with disappointment by the PBA Local 49. In a statement issued on behalf of the organization, Bergen County Police Detective Chris Weston said that “Mr. Ettz may be released in 10 short months, yet Danny and his family’s life has been altered forever.”
Schedule a Free Consultation with Travis J. Tormey About Your Lodi Drunk Driving Case
Travis J. Tormey, the founding partner of the Tormey Law Firm, defends clients against DWI charges in Lodi, Hackensack, Paramus, and everywhere else in Bergen County, New Jersey. If you’ve been charged with drunk driving in NJ, contact Attorney Tormey now to start your defense.