Experts believe that the man charged in a fatal DUI from 2006 may have had a BAC four times the legal limit, NJ.com is reporting.
On April 20, 2006, a car hit two teenage girls as they walked down the side of a New Jersey road coming back from a movie theater. They were killed, and now the driver of that car faces trial in Morristown, New Jersey.
Medical experts recently testified about the state of the driver in the case, which moved into its fourth day at the time of the testimony. Their determination was that Eugene Baum, who was driving the vehicle that struck the girls, registered a blood-alcohol level of .305, which is four times the legal limit, when measurement was taken several hours after the accident.
Using a technique called “back extrapolation,” another forensic scientist estimated that Baum’s blood-alcohol level could have been as high as .376 at the time of the accident.
The girls, Athear Jafar, 16, and her cousin, Mayada Jafar, 15, were walking down the shoulder of a two-lane road after going to the movies together.
Baum allegedly struck them at dusk while driving his Kia Optima down the road’s shoulder at forty miles per hour. He did not brake, even as he struck the girls. They were terribly wounded past the point of recovery.
Baum faces charges of vehicular homicide and DUI. He could face up to 60 years in prison if he is found guilty.
Baum’s DUI defense centers around complications from treatment for his alcoholism. While he admitted that he was driving the car, he claims that a reaction between prescription medication and alcohol caused him to lose his senses.
A few weeks before the crash, Baum went to the hospital with severe symptoms caused by an attempt to stop drinking alcohol, including withdrawal. He spent three days in the hospital, and when he was discharged he was told to undergo outpatient alcohol detoxification.
Baum was prescribed a drug called Librium when he left the hospital. He claims that he didn’t know he shouldn’t have combined that drug with alcohol consumption, and that he therefore didn’t know the ill effects it would have on his body and his mind, and that he couldn’t know the harm that he might cause.